Lawyers differ on Free State ruling

2012-12-16 10:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The fate of the ANC’s 53rd elective conference depends on the significance the party attaches to 31 words in a Constitutional Court order.

This was one of the few things five senior advocates and a former judge, when interviewed about this week’s dramatic Consitutional Court ruling involving the Free State ANC, agreed on.

On Friday, the court ruled that “the provincial ­elective conference of the Free State province of the African National Congress held at Parys from 21 to 23 June 2012 and its decisions and resolutions are declared unlawful and set aside”.

This means that the election of the Free State’s provincial executive committee (PEC), headed by ­Premier Ace Magashule, has been declared invalid. But with the ­detailed reasoning behind the bare-bones order only set to be delivered on Tuesday – and with the conference beginning today – lawyers are split over what the order means.

One interpretation is that the ­order only means the 20 Free State PEC delegates cannot participate in the elective conference, while the 324 branch delegates will be able

to participate.

According to one senior counsel in Joburg: “It is members of the branches who will be certified, and it is delegates of the branches who will be able to vote.”

The contrasting view is that PEC involvement in processes where branch delegates to ­Mangaung are selected has tainted the entire Free State delegation.

Another senior counsel said: “The underlying authority of the PEC delegation also determines the ­validity of the branch delegation.”

A sitting judge said the ANC will have to accept that “anybody who derives their voting status from

a decision taken at that provincial conference?.?.?.?will not be able to participate in the national conference”.

Whatever this elective conference decides to do, it now has to take into account that its decisions could ­affect its legal validity.

One source said: “The outcome of the entire ­conference could become subject to a court challenge, especially if ­people vote who are not

authorised to vote.

“They’d be taking a hell of a chance if they go ahead (with ­allowing ANC Free State delegates to participate). It could mean that the entire conference is set aside.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.