ANC crosses swords

2012-12-18 08:15

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Party will know today whether it will be taken to court by a group of disgruntled members

The ANC will fight an attempt by a group of disgruntled members to declare the outcome of its 53rd national elective conference null and void.

Yesterday morning, the party adopted a resolution to this effect and has mandated secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to depose an affidavit in the matter.

Attorney Krish Naidoo, acting for the ANC, confirmed this to Mangaung24.

The party will know this morning whether it will be taken to court by a group of ANC members from the Free State and North West.

Mangaung24 has learnt that the group will announce outside the Constitutional Court this morning what their next move will be.

The court will today give the reasons behind its ruling last week that the Free State provincial elective conference was unlawful and that the provincial executive committee (PEC) should be disbanded.

The ANC implemented this decision on Saturday night, which resulted in the dissolution of the Free State PEC and the disqualification of the 20 PEC members from taking part in the conference.

On Sunday the group’s lawyer, Thabo Kwinana, sent the ANC a letter, claiming that the party was acting in contempt of court by allowing the 324 Free State delegates to participate in the conference.

Kwinana also said the party should listen to and consider complaints by the disgruntled North West members about alleged rigged procedures in that province.

A source close to the unhappy ANC members said chances were likely that they would launch a normal court application to declare the Mangaung conference unlawful, similar to what they did with the Free State conference.

“To launch an urgent application now would be pointless. These delegates (from the Free State and the North West) have already participated in the conferences. They have voted. Once people have participated, the conference is either lawful or unlawful.”

The source said the group might not be able to argue urgency if they went to court immediately.

But the ANC was “taking a chance” by allowing the disputed delegates to continue participating. “They cannot undo the fact that they have participated now. If the court finds they shouldn’t have, the entire conference was unlawful.”

It is expected that the application could be heard by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg (because Luthuli House is based there) within the next month or two.

The ruling in that court will in all likelihood be appealed, like the Free State case, and end up in the Constitutional Court.

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