‘Court case a threat to legislature’

2017-08-18 13:45
Meshack Radebe, Sihle Zikalala and Kwazi Mshengu.

Meshack Radebe, Sihle Zikalala and Kwazi Mshengu. (Jabulani Langa)

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Nullifying the results of the KZN ANC conference could lead to instability in the provincial government.

This was one of the arguments raised by the defence in the KZN ANC court case that sat for two days at the Pietermaritzburg high court.

Aggrieved ANC members are challenging the results of the 2015 provincial conference that saw incumbent chairperson Sihle Zikalala replacing former premier Senzo Mchunu.

Greig Harpur, SC, who represents the KZN ANC leadership, argued that nullifying the conference could lead to many ANC members being recalled from their government positions.

After the 2015 conference, the then premier Mchunu was recalled.

Four MECs — Mike Mabuya­khulu, Peggy Nkonyeni, Cyril Xaba and Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha — were recalled in the cabinet reshuffle that followed Mchunu’s recall.

Harpur told the full bench that the consequences could be more dire should the results of the conference be nullified. “You might have a situation where the entire executive might be recalled.”

The cabinet is formed by the premier and 10 MECs.

The applicants’ lawyer, advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, argued that the ANC conference had nothing to do with the provincial cabinet.

“The ANC provincial conference only elects members of the provincial executive committee, not members of the provincial legislature or cabinet. They assume no power or authority in the provincial legislature until they are elected as representatives at the provincial legislature,” he said.

The applicants argued that during the time the provincial conference was held, there were still pending appeals from eThekwini region, Far North, Musa Dladla and Inkosi Bhambatha regions.

Advocate Griffiths Madonsela said there were branches from In­kosi Bhambatha region and Umlalazi that were disqualified but were allowed to vote at the conference.

Judgment in the matter was reserved for a date yet to be decided.

After the court proceedings finished on Thursday, supporters of the applicants started celebrating outside court.

Spokesperson Sithembiso Mshengu expressed confidence in how their lawyers had represented them.

Provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala said there was a deliberate attempt to divide the KZN ANC before the December ANC conference.

“Because in 2012 and in Polokwane we were also united, people said whoever wanted to win the next conference should divide KZN. That is why when we were at the provincial conference there were people in hotels supplying information and money.”

He said the same thing had also happened during the ill-disciplined eThekwini regional conference.

Meanwhile, Zikalala called for action to be taken against Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana, who faces charges of assault.

He said he did not agree with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula that because Manana was a public figure and police knew where he lived, that he should not be arrested.

“We shall all be equal. What the deputy minister did was wrong,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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