WATCH: ANC ruling: now the fallout

2017-09-13 13:45
There was a lot of singing and dancing after the Pietermaritzburg high court declared invalid the ANC’s eighth provincial elective conference, which saw provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala oust former premier Senzo Mchunu. The ANC has 15 days to appeal the decision.

There was a lot of singing and dancing after the Pietermaritzburg high court declared invalid the ANC’s eighth provincial elective conference, which saw provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala oust former premier Senzo Mchunu. The ANC has 15 days to appeal the decision. (Sabelo Nsele)

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The ANC’s national elective conference could be in jeopardy in the wake of Tuesday’s high court ruling.

Political analysts agreed on Tuesday that the judgment could compromise the December conference because the ANC in KZN will not have enough time to resolve internal squabbles between now and December.

With the provincial ANC already talking about possibly appealing the judgment — which could be a lengthy process — three political analysts said the province won’t have enough time to prepare for the December conference.

“This means the ANC leaders in the province will focus all their energies on this court battle. Whether they decide to have a political solution or go the legal route, there will be insufficient time to prepare for the conference,” said one analyst, Bheki Mngomezulu.

Mngomezulu said if the matter was not resolved before the December conference there would be question marks over which faction had the right to oversee the selection of delegates that would represent the province in the conference.

“The Sihle Zikalala camp, which wants Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to be elected as the president, might argue that they have appealed the decision and until the Supreme Court of Appeal has made a ruling, they remain members of the provincial executive committee.

“The Senzo Mchunu camp, which wants Cyril Ramaphosa as president, will argue that the current PEC is illegitimate based on this court decision.”

UKZN-based political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu said “naturally” the conference should be postponed to allow for KZN to get its house in order.

He said even if the ANC NEC (national executive committee) had to appoint a task team to oversee the process of selecting delegates, there would not be enough time to do so. He said the judgment had boosted Ramaphosa’s campaign, saying it will “galvanise” his camp in other provinces.

Dr Jabulani Sithole of the Mzala Nxumalo Centre said the judgment poses a serious challenge to preparations for the conference.

“I am doubtful they will have enough time to prepare for the delegates.”

He, however, did not believe the conference would be postponed.

Sithole said postponing the conference itself could also have serious implications for the ANC going into the 2019 elections. “That will reduce the time the ANC would have to re-organise itself before the 2019 elections.”

Sithole said another provincial cabinet reshuffle was highly likely.

“The implications are quite dire for the KZN government.”

The political analysts also agreed that political killings in the province were likely to increase if the leadership dispute was not resolved immediately.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the ANC will study the judgment “and interact with our structures on the political ramifications of the decision prior to placing the matter before the appropriate political platform for a decision on the way forward”.

Provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said he was convinced the PEC had presented a strong case and that a different court might rule differently to the one yesterday. He said they would study the judgment first before deciding whether to appeal.

PEC appeal 'would be hypocritical'

Lawrence Dube, one of those behind the application, said it would be hypocritical of the current PEC to appeal.

“After we went to court we were labelled as counter-revolutionaries, saying we want to solve ANC issues by going to court.

“If they are appealing it will mean they are also counter-revolutionaries. It will mean they are in the same boat,” he said.

Dube said if it was up to him, the elected PEC should be “packing their stuff and leaving”.

He added that he would also like to see the decisions they had taken, including the cabinet reshuffle and deployment of ANC representatives to local government institutions, to be reversed.

Dube admitted, however, that it would be impossible to reverse all decisions taken by the current PEC.

PEC members told to 'pack and go'

Members of the PEC, including Mdumiseni Ntuli and Mervyn Dirks, were booed by the supporters of the “rebel” camp when they left court on Tuesday.

Minutes after the verdict was handed down members of the winning faction sang and danced their way joyfully out onto the street where the celebrations gained momentum.

Some supporters of the winning faction who gathered at Freedom Square yelled at the ANC delegation, which also included Musa Dladla regional chairperson Nonhle Mkhulisi, instructing them to “pack and go”.

Ntuli pleaded with them to respect the current PEC until all legal avenues had been exhausted.

Three MPLs, Nhakanipho Ntombela, Jomo Sibiya and axed MEC Cyril Xaba, and several regional leaders joined the celebrations held by the applicants at Freedom Square.

During the mini celebration, several leaders openly endorsed Cyril Ramaphosa

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  anc ruling

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