The High Court in Pretoria has dismissed an attempt to have the ANC’s Nasrec conference, at which President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected its leader, nullified, the party said on Thursday.

A KwaZulu-Natal businessman had approached the court in a bid to set aside the election of the ANC’s top six officials, party spokesperson Pule Mabe said. Judgment was handed down on Wednesday.

“[This] would have had huge ramifications for our constitution and the functionality of the organisation in its entirety,” Mabe said. “We note and applaud the court’s decision to dismiss this frivolous attempt seeking to damage the ANC reputation.”

He said the businessman, who was not named, was also ordered to pay costs.

There has been continued battles for dominance in the ANC between the factions in the mixed leadership elected at the Nasrec conference in 2017.

Last month, the Sunday Times reported that ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, and others were meeting with former president Jacob Zuma to plot the removal of Ramaphosa. Magashule denied that there was a plot but admitted to meeting with Zuma.

Mabe said Wednesday’s judgment sent a strong message to ANC members who believed that the courts were the only way to resolve internal matters, saying, “The ANC is of the view that if the actions of members are left unattended, they will create a chaotic precedent that could paralyse the democratic processes within our organisation.” 

The ANC called on its members to desist from this practice.