ANC bombshells

2012-12-17 00:00

THE ANC’s Mangaung elective conference faces complete meltdown by delegates opposing President Jacob Zuma’s re-election as party president.

Disgruntled delegates from the Free State have issued the party with an ultimatum to disqualify all delegates from the province from voting, or face another court application declaring the entire conference null and void.

The group has also accused the ANC of being in contempt of court by allowing the 324 Free State delegates to continue participating in the conference.

The disgruntled faction, armed with a successful Constitutional Court order, have given the party until noon tomorrow to reverse its decision to let these delegates participate in the conference.

A cabinet minister who serves on the NEC said yesterday he was extremely worried about the impending application.

“We are in big, big trouble with this conference. We are disregarding a court order completely; this conference could be declared null and void.”

In a letter sent to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe by lawyer Thabo Kwinana, acting for the disgruntled faction, they say that Mantashe and the NEC’s interpretation of the Constitutional Court order “is plainly wrong and the result of a deliberately strained logic”.

Following an eleventh hour NEC meeting on Saturday night, Mantashe said that the 324 Free State branch delegates would still be allowed to participate in the conference, despite the order declaring the Free State provincial executive committee (PEC) unlawful and invalid.

According to the letter from their lawyers, the disgruntled faction are now demanding that the entire Free State delegation to Mangaung be prevented from participating, failing which the faction will approach the court to interdict the entire conference.

Kwinana is also asking the ANC to immediately address the concerns of disgruntled North West delegates, who unsuccessfully tried to interdict the province’s delegation.

According to the letter, the six members of the ANC who managed to have the Constitutional Court declare the Free State PEC unlawful, will ask to derail the conference entirely. If their demands are not met, the successful litigants will ask that the entire Mangaung conference be prevented from going ahead.

The letter said that the election of the PEC “was symbiotically linked to the national conference”.

Speaking at a press conference, Mpho Ramakatso, one of the disgruntled ANC members, said: “We have consulted our lawyers and we are saying participation of Free State in that conference makes it in contempt of court order,” Ramakatso said.

He said a letter had been sent to Mantashe and the steering committee of the Mangaung conference to table the matter before the conference agenda.

“They need to take a decision of removing the Free State delegation from Mangaung conference. Apart from it being in contempt, Mangaung might be useless expenditure for the ANC,” he said.

Last night, Mantashe denied knowledge of the letter.“I have not received such a letter. We are continuing with the conference,” he said. Meanwhile, the North West provincial secretary, Kabelo Mataboge, was evicted from the conference yesterday on the orders of attorneys representing the ANC North West provincial working committee.

Matoboge was temporarily suspended as a party member last week, although this has yet to be ratified by the province’s executive committee.

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