Dlamini-Zuma strongholds in desperate attempt to appeal court judgments

2017-12-15 18:24
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (GCIS)

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (GCIS)

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Johannesburg – Presidential candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's campaign suffered three major blows on the eve of the ANC elective conference, with courts ruling against party structures in three of her key provinces, potentially costing her more than a hundred votes.

The race between Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is so close a few hundred votes could cost the candidates a win.

KwaZulu-Natal and North West are making plans to launch court appeals to set aside the rulings, with the Free State likely to follow suit.

For more on the elective conference, visit our special report page #ANCVotes

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg granted the provincial executive committee (PEC) the right to appeal a ruling disbanding the committee, but ruled the PEC'S members could not cast their votes at the conference, denying the province 27 votes.

In the Free State, last week's controversial elective conference was set aside, meaning that the PEC there will also lose its 27 votes and another potential 14 votes from branches barred from attending the elective conference.

In the North West, the Bojanala regional conference was set aside. The court further ruled that the branch general meetings of 38 branches, held between October and November for the election of delegates to attend the Nasrec conference, were irregular, invalid and unconstitutional. The majority of these votes were expected to go to Dlamini-Zuma.

Judgment 'irrational' 

The KwaZulu-Natal PEC said in a statement that it was appealing the judgment because it "will create a chaotic precedent that could paralyse the democratic processes within the organisation in the future".

It added that the movement was of the firm view that the judgment lacks in rationality hence the PEC resolved to institute an urgent appeal against it.

"The ANC KZN is more than ready to actively participate in the upcoming 54th national conference and its positions and perspectives remain solid," KwaZulu-Natal ANC spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said.

KwaZulu-Natal, which has the highest number of branch delegates (870), is a Dlamini-Zuma stronghold and the bedrock of her presidential campaign.

uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association president Kebby Maphatsoe said it was worrying that provinces supporting Dlamini-Zuma had "lost their cases".

"We don't want to attack the judiciary, but it is surprising that they come on the eve of the conference, on the day delegates are registering and others have registered," Maphatsoe told News24.

"It is really worrying that we have been saying that there is something there to try and collapse the conference," he said.

North West 'buying time' with appeal

Despite the North West ANC's intention to appeal, disgruntled members say "illegal" branch members should not attend the ANC's elective conference.

One of the applicants, Gabriel Nkgweng, said the province was trying to "buy time" with the appeal.

"Those are illegal representatives of branches to that conference, you cannot have people representing branches illegally at such an important gathering," he said.

Eastern Cape provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane said the court judgments must be a lesson to the party to stop opting for expedience and start respecting the ANC's guidelines and constitution.

"[It's] painful. When the ANC meets nationally, it must have that national character, all provinces must be there and represented. It's a very sad moment, I must indicate, when we have courts of law deciding on how the ANC must be led," he said.

The ANC elective conference gets underway on Saturday, with a heated debate around credentials expected to ruffle feathers.

Maphatsoe said the Dlamini-Zuma camp was not worried that this would affect their candidate's numbers when elections are held on Saturday.

Read more on:    anc  |  kebby maphatsoe  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  nkosazana dlamini-zuma  |  anc leadership race  |  anc votes

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