ConCourt scraps ANC FS leadership

2012-12-14 11:33

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The Constitutional Court has scrapped the entire Free State provincial elective conference and all decisions taken by it.

This means the appointment of provincial chairperson Ace Magashule, as well as his provincial executive committee, is invalid.

With just two days to go before the ruling party’s elective conference in Mangaung, the decision will have massive knock-on effects for the conference.

The decision was a majority decision of seven judges, with only Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Justice Johan Froneman and Jutice Zak Yacoob dissenting.

The order, read by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, found “the provincial elective conference of the Free State province of the ANC held at Parys on June 21 to 23, 2012 and its decisions and resolutions are declared unlawful and invalid.”

The order means the provincial executive committee (PEC) of the Free State no longer exists, because its previous term had expired in terms of the ANC’s constitution.

Mpho Ramakatsa, one of the six members of the Free State ANC who took the party to court, said the order means Free State “will be the hosting province, but will not be partaking in the national conference.”

“Nobody in the Free State is going to be attending that conference,” said Ramakatsa.

Ramaktsa hailed the decision as a victory for truth and justice.

“Those who are in leadership positions, they do not own the ANC,” he said.

Ramakatsa called on other members of the ANC to “stand their ground”.

“We are prepared to die for the truth,” he said.

While details of the consequences of the judgment for the Mangaung conference are still unclear, it appears, at the very least, the Free State PEC’s 20 votes at Mangaung will fall away.

At worst for Magashule and his supporters, the province’s 324 delegates – most of who would have supported President Jacob Zuma for a second term as ANC president – will be disqualified.

Magashule told Jacaranda FM: “We are still busy studying the judgment, but life goes on and we are still the leaders in the province.”

He said “our province has nominated so we’ll just go to the conference”.

The ANC in Free State is awaiting a decision by the party’s NEC on the way forward.

Oupa Khoabane, provincial spokesperson, said the decision is going to determine what is supposed to happen with the Free State delegates.

“The decision has a direct implication for the 20 delegates of the provincial executive committee (PEC)”, he said.

Khoabane said some of the options the party will have to consider is whether it is going to approach the Free State High Court for an urgent interdict or whether to appoint an interim PEC.

He said with the conference starting on Monday, the decisions will most probably be taken as soon as possible.

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