Bid to set aside ANC top 6 removed from court roll

2018-01-30 13:47
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte is seen during the party’s provincial general council in Polokwane. (Antonio Muchave, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte is seen during the party’s provincial general council in Polokwane. (Antonio Muchave, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

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Pretoria - An urgent application to have the election of the ANC's top six nullified was removed from the roll by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

African National Congress member Vincent Myeni approached the court earlier in January in a bid to have the ANC elective conference results for the top six positions set aside and for a new election to take place.

Advocate Francois Botes SC, acting on behalf of Myeni, told News24 that the matter was removed because there was not enough time to submit a replying affidavit after the respondents only submitted their answering affidavit late last week.

"The applicant initiated the application in January and respondents filed opposing affidavits late last week, so there wasn't sufficient time to submit a replying affidavit," said Botes.

READ: Ramaphosa friends and foes in ANC NEC

As a result the matter was removed from the roll.

In an answering affidavit, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte asked that the matter be struck off the roll with costs against Myeni.

Financial implications

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.

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."

In his papers, Myeni, who claimed to be the chairperson of a branch in Ward 32 in the Msunduzi subregion, questioned the credentials of voting delegates and how they were verified and claimed 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 also raises the issue of the missing 68 votes that were quarantined and not included in the final tally at the conference, saying it has not been adequately addressed or explained by the party.

Allegations 'malicious'

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," Duarte 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.

Botes explained the removal of the application did not mean the matter had been withdrawn permanently. He said the application would most likely be enrolled for hearing on the regular opposed motion court roll.

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Read more on:    anc  |  jesse duarte  |  pretoria  |  anc leadership race  |  judiciary  |  politics

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