Last-minute bid to save ANC Ekurhuleni regional conference

2018-06-28 19:54
ANC (Gallo Images, file)

ANC (Gallo Images, file)

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The ANC's national dispute resolution committee has been asked to step in and save the party's Ekurhuleni regional conference, following threats from some members to interdict the event.

The region is expected to hold its conference on Friday in Irene in Tshwane, where new leaders are expected to be elected.

Unhappy party members, however, do not want it to proceed, claiming issues which they had raised over processes leading up to the conference have not been dealt with properly.

This fresh threat comes after the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg struck a matter off the roll in which disgruntled members wanted the national executive committee (NEC) to implement what was recommended in a report into the violent "festival of chairs" conference in the Eastern Cape.

The report was compiled by NEC member Sbu Ndebele.

Guidelines and procedures

The same court dismissed an urgent application over the weekend to have last weekend's Limpopo elective conference halted, saying it lacked urgency. 

"The two judgments (sic) in favour of the ANC, show that the measures put in place at its 54th national conference to allow clear avenues for ANC members to resolve their disputes are working," the party's secretary general Ace Magashule said in a statement this week.

READ: ANC 'pleased' with court victories over disgruntled members in KZN and Limpopo

In a letter to the ANC, lawyer Sihle Shamase of Shamase Ramotswedi Attorneys says not everyone in the region was consulted. 

"Our clients dispute that the decision to hold such a conference was taken in good faith, in consultation with members of the various branches and in accordance with the ANC's constitution and supporting guidelines," writes Shamase.

The letter, written on behalf of party member Tsholofelo Kopedi and "others", claims the region failed to comply with the political party's own guidelines and procedures when preparing for elective conferences.

Kopedi refused to comment.

The party members also said they wanted a response from the ANC on Wednesday before considering approaching the High Court to interdict the conference.

ANC regional secretary Theliswa Mgweba confirmed that members from Ekurhuleni had served the governing party with a letter.

'Otherwise we cannot proceed'

Speaking to News24 from a bustling Germiston Civic Centre, where party members were registering for the weekend's elective conference, Mgweba said the national dispute committee was attending to the aggrieved.

"The national dispute committee must resolve all their issues, otherwise we cannot proceed," said Mgweba.

In drawing up a timeline, she said members had not been satisfied with the dispute resolution outcomes, after approaching a conference regional dispute committee.

The regional secretary said a decision had been taken after a meeting between NEC deployees to Gauteng and provincial leaders, that no conferences would take place while there were still outstanding issues.

This was later affirmed by the provincial executive committee and communicated to regional leaders.

"It was agreed that, before we sit, everything must be clarified, all branches must be heard, and all disputes must be entertained," she said.

"Even if it's just one person, they must be heard," added Mgweba.

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