ANC takes hard line on provinces and branches cited in court judgments
The NEC does not want to 'contaminate' the elective conference by allowing nullified structures to vote
The ANC national executive committee (NEC) has taken a hard line against structures that have been nullified following court decisions and against branches that were cited in court cases, by rescinding their voting privileges.
Outgoing ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the party would not risk "contaminating" the conference by allowing the delegates to vote. Rather, they would be treated as invitees and would be allowed to take part in discussions.
The NEC's stance has far-reaching consequences for candidates nominated for the ANC top office, with presidential nominee Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma dealt the worst blow as the structures affected had endorsed her.
The decision will affect about 200 delegates from Bojanala, the largest region in the North West, as well as the KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provincial executive committees (PECs).
"We will not even allow them to vote with a different colour code. They are here as invitees … but [may] not vote on any matter," Mantashe told journalists in Johannesburg.
The NEC meeting was called on Saturday morning to deal with the three court outcomes ahead the start of the conference.
He also announced that the conference, which was meant to get under way at 9am on Saturday, would start only at 2pm as delegates from Tshwane were still expected to register.
All other provinces and regions had already registered.
ANC veterans warned that the court cases showed that the party needed to re-evaluate its internal democracy.
The court rulings have effectively barred 106 delegates from those provinces from participating in the crucial elective conference.
“Today‚ the ANC’s elective conference has started against a backdrop of court action by members who feel the constitution of our movement‚ and our national Constitution have been violated in the election of delegates to conference and the provincial decision-making processes.
“This is a clear articulation of but one of the many challenges our movement faces‚” the stalwarts said in a statement.
“We cannot have a political party unnecessarily divided because its own leadership fails to ensure its internal democratic systems are fair‚ corruption free and pass the constitutional requirements that‚ ironically‚ the ANC created.”