Eastern Cape PEC court hearing postponed

2017-11-21 23:24
Tembeka Ngcukaitobi (File, Gallo Images)

Tembeka Ngcukaitobi (File, Gallo Images)

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Johannesburg - The case against the Eastern Cape provincial executive committee (PEC) challenging its validity has been postponed to December 4. 

Eleven ANC Eastern Cape members went to the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown on Tuesday to have its chaotic September provincial elective conference set aside, despite a national executive committee (NEC) decision to deal with the matter internally.

READ:  Mantashe faces heat as ANC locks horns over Eastern Cape 'festival of chairs

During arguments the PEC's lawyer, led by ANC Eastern Cape secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi's brother Tembeka, argued that the 11 disgruntled branch members sent a letter to the party's mother body informing it of their intent to withdraw their legal bid to have the conference nullified.  

However, the disgruntled members' legal representative, Mvuzo Notyesi, denied that his clients had sent a letter to ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, alleging that the applicants' signatures on the letter had been forged. 

The letter in the respondents' annexure states that the applicants took a "conscious decision to withdraw the court matter and to allow internal process on matter".

READ:  ANC extends deadline for branches to hold nomination meetings

Notyesi and the ANC 11 were given until December 4 to investigate the matter.

Watch: 

The NEC earlier decided to hear an appeal against the results of the elective conference, led by ousted chair Phumulo Masualle and other PEC members. A task team, led by NEC member Sbu Ndebele, has been appointed to hear the appeal.

However, the 11 branch members claim in court papers that, even though internal processes have not yet been exhausted, there is nothing stopping them from approaching the courts.

Conference riddled with irregularities

They say that letters that they wrote to the NEC were ignored and that their legal challenge was justified.

They claim that the ANC's constitution does not state that the NEC has powers to declare that a conference was "unlawful, unconstitutional and [that it should] be set aside.

"At most, the NEC can suspend and or dissolve the PEC. However, the election of the PEC is not the only decision that was taken at the conference," the 11 allege in the papers.

They also allege that the conference was riddled with irregularities, including claims that:

  • delegates in at least 10 wards were not elected at properly constituted branch general meetings;
  • there was a dispute over credentials, forcing then chairperson Masualle to adjourn the meeting when violence broke out;
  • delegates walked out when Masualle adjourned the meeting and
  • NEC deployees, who reconvened the meeting in the absence of PEC members, were not empowered to do so. 

The 11 members dismissed the respondents' claim that the case was not urgent. 

Read more on:    anc  |  jessie duarte  |  johannesburg

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