Splinter PAC group loses case

2008-10-09 21:29
Bloemfontein - A PAC splinter group under the leadership of former secretary-general Thami Ka-Plaatjie may not gather or organise under the name or colours of the PAC, the Bloemfontein High Court held on Thursday.

Judge M H Rampai delivered judgment, confirming a final order, in an application to stop the splinter group from using the name of the PAC.

Rampai said the papers before the court had shown there was a "deep rift in the PAC". He said he was uncertain whether the court's decision would bring an end to the "contest" in the PAC.

The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania under the leadership of Letlape Mphahlele brought the application in the Bloemfontein court two months ago to stop a local conference from establishing the PAC under a new leadership.

The application was brought against Ka-Plaatjie, the former chairperson of the PAC in Gauteng, Benny Alexander (or Khoisan X), Clarence Makwetu, Mawabo Sijila, Manelisi Luxande, the national co-ordinating committee and Chargain Mabaso.

The interdict restrained the seven respondents from holding a PAC conference at the Mangaung Local Municipality Hall, in Bloemfontein.

No press conferences

It also prevented them from holding any press conferences, issuing press statements or holding out to be the leadership of the PAC.

An interim interdict was granted at the time but the meeting nevertheless continued in Botshabelo, west of Bloemfontein, and Ka-Plaatjie was elected president.

On Thursday, Rampai made the interdict a final order of the court.

Delivering judgment the judge said the order prohibited everything done by the respondents in the name of the PAC.

Rampai said the "soul of the PAC" could have been saved politically, between the "experienced" political leaders in the groups, if the genuine interests of the PAC prevailed over their individual ambitions.

"The two groups could solve the problems in a way that no court order can ever do," he said.

Reacting to the judgment, Ka-Plaatjie said the judge was not a mediator and he had to make a determination.

He said he had long ago indicated his willingness to negotiate and settle the PAC's internal problems with Mphahlele.

"We have offered various means to resolve the impasse to an extent that we sent a delegation of former PAC presidents to prevail on Letlapa without success," said Ka-Plaatjie adding that the group remained PAC.

"We are PAC and that is a fact. We have been PAC almost all our lives and that [is] not likely to change soon," he said in a statement.

Ka-Plaatjie said the group would still meet in Cape Town this weekend as concerned members of the PAC to chart a way forward.

- SAPA
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