ANC dismisses court challenge of its December conference as frivolous

2018-01-24 20:54
ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – The ANC has rejected a court application to declare its 54th national elective conference null and void as an abuse of court processes and frivolous.

This week, the party's deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte filed a responding affidavit against ANC member Vincent Myeni, who approached the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria asking for the December conference's results for the ANC's top six positions to be set aside and for fresh elections to take place.

In her court papers, Duarte asks the court to strike the matter off the roll with costs against Myeni.

She argued that Myeni failed to show urgency and could also not prove he was a member of the ANC in good standing.

Duarte, while questioning the merit of Myeni's case, also highlighted the potential financial implication of re-running the conference.

"The financial implications of such an order are severe. It cost the ANC in excess of R50m to organise the December 2017 national conference. The ANC has no access to such funds," said Duarte.

Personal relationship with elections official alleged

In his papers, Myeni claimed to be the chairperson of a branch in Ward 32 in the Msunduzi sub-region.

Duarte said in her papers: "In those circumstances, I am constrained to argue that the applicant has no standing to bring the present application in so far as he failed to show that he is a member of the ANC in good standing and indeed is a representative of a bona fide ANC branch".

Myeni approached the courts claiming he was disturbed by the turn of events at the watershed conference. He claims in his papers that:

  • One of the EleXions Agency officials contracted to oversee the elective process failed to disclose that one of the ANC's elected top officials fathered her child, tainting the election process;
  • He questions the credentials of voting delegates and how they were verified;
  • The issue of the missing 68 votes that were quarantined and not included in the final tally at the conference has not been adequately addressed or explained by the party.

Duarte rejected claims of any irregularities in the processes in and around the conference.

"These allegations are utterly spurious and without foundation. There was no fraud...perpetuated in the manner in which the election process was implemented and attended to," she said, adding that branch delegates that qualified and were in good standing were allowed to vote.

In response to claims of a personal relationship which bore a child, Duarte said the official denied the claim and the allegations could only have been made with malicious intent.

Duarte labelled the application frivolous, questioning how the applicant found nothing wrong with the election of the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) but questioned the top six elected at the very same conference.

"Once it is accepted that the officials are, as a matter of constitutional interpretation, part and parcel of the NEC, there can be no basis to impugn the election of the officials," argued Duarte.

Read more on:    anc  |  anc leadership race

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