ANC Limpopo conference is a 'burning house', says lawyer

2018-06-23 15:02
An ANC councillor has been found guilty of fraud. (Gallo Images, file)

An ANC councillor has been found guilty of fraud. (Gallo Images, file)

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Advocate Dali Mpofu in court on Saturday described the Limpopo elective conference as a house on fire, while arguing for an urgent interdict to have it stopped and declared illegitimate.

"Right now, the house is burning: there is a conference taking place that it is so tainted by illegality, literally everyone there has been invited by these bogus people," he told the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

"If we are right about the PEC [Provincial Executive Committee] being non-existent, then it is a bogus body."

He said the fault actually lay with the ANC’s National Executive Committee because, during a meeting on June 18, they had allegedly mandated the PEC to run the conference. 

This came, said Mpofu, after the terms of office of the PEC had allegedly expired in February.

Mpofu, who is representing disgruntled party members whom have applied for an urgent interdict to put the brakes on the provincial conference, said the question before court was: "To what extent does that taint of illegality that surrounds the PEC, taint the whole conference?"

"We say they taint it, because they are running the whole thing."

Judge Makhubele extensively questioned whether it was indeed so that the PEC were the authority behind the conference.

"From what I am reading, it is not the PEC," she declared at one point.

Earlier, she questioned Mpofu on whether there was evidence of the disgruntled members attempting to sort out their issues with the party between February – when the term of office of the PEC allegedly expired - and the June 18 NEC meeting.

Mpofu said this would have been premature, as before the meeting this month the NEC could have announced the conference be delayed until the situation was sorted out.

Subsequent to the June 18 meetings, he said the disgruntled members had attempted to resolve the matter internally – before turning to the court.

Mpofu also said the case moved beyond the scope of internal strife within a political party, since the ANC was the ruling party both in Limpopo, and for the whole country.

"Therefore the outcome of the conference… will determine among others, who might be a premier, a MEC, a MPL [Member of the Provincial Legislature]," said Mpofu.

"All people of Limpopo….will be affected."

Mpofu went into previous Constitutional Court case law to substantiate his claim of the far-reaching effects of allowing provincial conferences to continue.

He said that while the conference had already started, his clients would still want elections and the passing of resolutions to be prevented.

"[They] want to prevent PEC members from participating and any actions taken are to be [considered] null and void."

Earlier, Makhubele dismissed an application from branch chairmen to join in court proceedings.

"They are really not adding any value to the issues before court… Let us get to the real issues," she said.

The conference proceeded on Saturday morning – simultaneous to the urgent application, which was still being heard on Saturday afternoon.

Read more on:    anc  |  dali mpofu
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