‘Lawlessness’ in ANC justifies court action – Shivambu

2012-11-29 19:00

Former ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu this afternoon told a gathering of Kgalema Motlanthe supporters that there was “nothing wrong” with asking a court for relief if there was “lawlesness” in the ANC.

Shivambu was speaking on the steps of the Constitutional Court, after extensive argument was today heard in a court challenge of the election of the Free State provincial executive committee (PEC) of the ANC.

He said the June provincial elective conference had not been a provincial conference of the ANC, but a “gathering of Jacob Zuma followers”.

Six members of the Free State ANC have taken the ANC, as well as the members of the provincial executive committee, to the Constitutional Court.

They are asking the court to declare the election of the PEC unlawful and for an interim structure to be established by the ANC to head the province.

Summing up his arguments yesterday, Dali Mpofu, who is representing the six applicants, said that if “one province is tainted as we have shown here, surely the rest must also be so tainted so as to (have) some ripple effect on our democracy”.

Mpofu was referring to “gory allegations” of irregularities in the nominations process by which branch delegates were nominated and sent to the provincial congress, at which the PEC is elected.

Mpofu cited several examples, including that of the Fidel Castro branch in Jakkalsdraai.

The ANC argued that an audit of the membership of this branch could not be carried out because members of a “regime change group” arrived with files purportedly containing membership particulars.

When Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng pointed out that this was a serious matter, Mpofu responded that 10 delegates from this branch had in fact been sent to the provincial elective conference.

Mpofu referred to letters written by former provincial secretary Sibongile Besani to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, in which he complained that “known criminals and gangsters” were intimidating members of the ANC and that he felt he could no longer participate in the process.

Mpofu argued that the findings of a report of the provincial NEC task team sent to deal with the problems in the Free State did not contain enough detail.

The report said that all problems in the election of the provincial NEC had been dealt with.

Terry Motau, who appeared for the ANC, however argued that Mpofu’s approach of citing just a few selected cases so as to tarnish the entire PEC was insufficient.

Motau said all complaints received by Mantashe were forwarded to the provincial task team, which delivered the report clearing the election of the PEC.

The task team was headed by Susan Shabangu, and also consisted of Jeff Radebe, Angie Motshekga, Enoch Godongwana and Ace Magashule.

Motau acknowledged that the report was scant, but said that the ANC constitution did not stipulate how a complaint should be

dealt with.

Motau said the first Mantashe had heard of some of the cases currently before court was when they appeared in court papers.

About 200 ANC supporters were gathered outside the court today. The supporter were divided into two groups, one supporting Jacob Zuma for re-election as ANC president and the other supporting Motlanthe.

The pro-Motlanthe group, which numbered about 140, were also supporting the six ANC members who have brought the matter to court.

The court reserved judgment in the matter.

- City Press

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