Hopeful: Sihle Zikalala, the ANC’s task team co-ordinator in KwaZulu-Natal, says the party is hoping to hold its aborted provincial conference in six weeks. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Hopeful: Sihle Zikalala, the ANC’s task team co-ordinator in KwaZulu-Natal, says the party is hoping to hold its aborted provincial conference in six weeks. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

A report on the halting of the ANC KwaZulu-Natal conference and what transpired will be handed to the party’s national working committee on Monday when a decision on the way forward will be taken.

A group of disgruntled members approached the High Court in Pietermaritzburg at the 11th hour on Friday asking that the conference be interdicted from going ahead.

This was while delegates were already at the University of Zululand registering to take part. An interim interdict was granted.

KwaZulu-Natal is the ANC’s most influential and biggest province.

In 2017, its provincial executive committee was declared unlawful by the high court after irregularities at the 2015 conference were challenged by the losing faction. This past weekend’s conference was meant to be a rerun.

ANC national executive committee member and convener of deployees in KwaZulu-Natal Nocawe Mafu said she would submit a written report to the party’s national working committee. "The officials will meet tomorrow [Monday] and in discussions will touch on the KZN matter and then we will get a directive," she said.

The ANC has complained that it was not given an opportunity to respond to the application lodged in the high court and that the court did not give it an opportunity to present its case.

The party is still expected to lodge responding papers.

Disciplinary action

The application to interdict the conference was launched by disgruntled members who claimed to represent the Moses Mabhida region.

ANC KZN members have called for those who took the province to court to face disciplinary action.

Chaos erupted at the conference on Friday night and delegates booed ANC national chairman Gwede Mantashe when he tried to address them.

Sihle Zikalala, the provincial task team co-ordinator, explained at a media briefing on Saturday that there was a perception among ANC members that some national leaders were interfering and "peddling divisions", and that Mantashe was a victim of this but that it was nothing personal against him.

Mantashe is seen to be aligned to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Ahead of the party’s national elective conference in December 2017, KwaZulu-Natal delegates were divided over their support for Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Zikalala said the party was hoping to hold the conference in six weeks’ time.

Zikalala was himself standing for the position of provincial chairman, the position to which he was elected at the 2015 conference, but which was nullified by the court.

It was understood the province had reached a power-sharing agreement ahead of the conference, with Zikalala standing unopposed and Mike Mabuyakhulu, the convener of the provincial task team, standing as his deputy. Zikalala is a staunch supporter of former president Jacob Zuma.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

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