High court turns down bid to nullify ANC Eastern Cape election
Eastern Cape provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi says the provincial leadership is relieved, but had expected a favourable ruling
The High Court in Grahamstown has dismissed an application to have the ANC’s Eastern Cape elective conference nullified.
The Eastern Cape conference, held in September, turned violent and a group of delegates left the venue.
The election of the new provincial leadership went ahead, resulting in the election of former secretary Oscar Mabuyane as chairman.
Eastern Cape provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi said the provincial leadership was in a way relieved by the court’s decision, but had expected the outcome to weigh in their favour.
He said that those wanting the conference nullified had clearly not exhausted ANC internal processes before rushing to court.
Ngcukaitobi also said the appeal processes initiated by the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) were still under way and he could not say how the court judgment would affect that process.
The NEC put together a task team last month to hear complaints and the appeal against the Eastern Cape conference by those wanting to see it nullified.
Ngcukaitobi said the NEC process would continue even after the national conference, which starts on Saturday, and that the provincial delegation to the conference would not be affected by it.
There are a number of court applications brought by ANC members across the country, some which may affect the national elective conference.
The two court matters that are likely to have the largest impact on the conference is the Free State matter set to be heard on Thursday and the KwaZulu-Natal matter in which judgement still needs to be handed down. It is not clear if a KZN judgment will come before conference starts at the weekend.
Judgement was reserved in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg on the legality of the current ANC provincial executive committee (PEC).
The PEC was declared unlawful by the court earlier in 2017 after irregularities at the party’s 2015 conference were challenged by the losing faction.
The committee, led by Zuma-aligned Sihle Zikalala, is appealing this decision.
In the Free State, a group of ANC members who support Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is approaching the High Court in Bloemfontein in a bid to stop the province’s 409 delegates attending the national elective conference.
The move comes after the leadership, under Free State chairman Ace Magashule, went ahead with its provincial elective conference in Parys.
The group is asking for the matter to be heard on Thursday, just two days before the national elective conference gets under way in Nasrec, Soweto.
It also wants the court to nullify the outcomes of the Free State conference, which was expected to end on Monday.
Meanwhile, the supporters of presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa have withdrawn the urgent part of their high court bid to have the Mpumalanga branch general meetings — which nominated “unity” as their preferred candidate — declared null and void, unlawful and unconstitutional.
With Claudi Mailovich