Mantashe: Free State delegates will vote

2012-12-14 12:20

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ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has suggested strongly that Free State ANC delegates will be able to attend the party’s Mangaung congress, which is set to start on Sunday.

This comes after the Constitutional Court declared the provincial ANC leadership unlawful this morning.

The party’s national executive committee (NEC) is set to meet tomorrow to thrash out the details about how the judgment will affect the congress.

Addressing a press conference at the congress venue this morning, Mantashe said: “Nobody will be able to come to conference or not because of a court order.”

He said branch delegates to a national conference are nominated by branches, and this process is overseen by the regional executive committee, while the nominations for national conferences are overseen by the electoral commission.

This implies that the Free State’s provincial executive committee was not involved in choosing the 324 delegates for Mangaung, which means that the delegates could not be disqualified on the grounds of this judgment.

Mantashe said this was the first out of 16 court cases that the ANC had lost.

ANC policy head and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said the ANC took a dim view of members who went to court to challenge internal processes.

“We cannot prevent anyone, including ANC members, from looking for recourse in court, but this is separate from the attitude that the NEC and ANC holds, as an organisation, of those who take the ANC to court,” he said.

Radebe was unclear on whether Free State Premier Ace Magashule, who is also the ANC provincial chairperson, would be able to attend the Mangaung conference, but he made the point that Magashule is a member of the ANC’s national executive committee. It is thus likely that Magashule would attend in that capacity.

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