On Thursday, supporters of Cyril Rampahosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma protested outside the high court in the Free State while, inside, a fresh challenge relating to the ANC’s national conference got off to a slow start — thanks to a broken photocopying machine.

With the paperwork seemingly under control at last, a faction of the ANC in the province launched its argument that its Free State leaders, including Premier Ace Magashule, had been improperly elected and so should be barred from the conference, which is taking place at Nasrec in Johannesburg this weekend.

Dali Mpofu, acting for the applicants, said the election of the provincial leaders had been in violation of an earlier court order.