'We are being treated differently' - aggrieved ANC North West member says they are being micromanaged

2019-02-13 06:35
Supra Mahumapelo and his supporters celebrate after the court ruled that the decision to disband the ANC's North West PEC was unlawful. (Felix Dlangamandla)

Supra Mahumapelo and his supporters celebrate after the court ruled that the decision to disband the ANC's North West PEC was unlawful. (Felix Dlangamandla)

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One of the applicants in an urgent matter application before the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, to enforce a judgment reinstating Supra Mahumapelo's provincial executive committee (PEC), says there is no option but to return to the courts to force the ANC's hand.

This, after a meeting with officials and the provincial task team (PTT), which was an interim body appointed by the party's national executive committee (NEC), at the ANC's headquarters on Sunday, did not yield the desired effects.

Mahumapelo and four others successfully challenged the NEC's decision to disband his PEC and install the PTT.

The court last week ordered the reinstatement of the PEC to be done within two days and this has yet to happen. The structure's term ends on February 13.

"We are simply praying for an enforcement order as per the judgment on the 6 of February that the PEC must be reinstated with its full powers and functions and that the PTT must stop pretending to be in operation," first applicant in the matter and PEC member Aaron Motswana said.

Read: Supra Mahumapelo back in charge of ANC North West, for now

He said the aggrieved members returned to the courts to ensure the PEC was reinstated and allowed to complete its term.

Earlier, their legal team, which includes advocates Dali Mpofu, SC, and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, argued that the PEC should not just have a day in office but allowed to continue past elections as per instruction from ANC secretary general (SG) Ace Magashule's office.

Magashule said all members should halt proposed provincial and regional conferences until after the 2019 general elections.

"We want to ensure the PEC is allowed to complete its term in line with the spirit of the letter of the SG and to be treated equal with other provinces," argued Motswana, who spoke to journalists after proceedings in the High Court in Pretoria.

He complained about the treatment meted out to the PEC by the NEC, which is the ANC's highest decision-making body, asking for the party leadership in the platinum-rich province to be given space.

'We are being micromanaged'

"[The] Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape were all given space. We are being micromanaged. Certain decisions are being imposed on us. We are being treated differently," he complained.

"We are members of the ANC, not children of the lesser God," he continued.

Motswana also took issue with the ANC's decision to challenge one aspect of the High Court findings, saying it showed the party was negotiating in bad faith.

"You (the NEC) say to us, collapse your enforcement prayer and at the same time you appeal the judgment. You can't be saying two things at the same time," he complained.

The ANC has, however, defended this move. Acting spokesperson Dakota Lekgoete explained that leaving some aspect of the judgment unchallenged would set a bad precedent.

Read more: High Court to rule on Mahumapelo's bid to reinstate his ANC provincial committee

"If we allow the courts to take over the authority of the NEC, it creates a precedent we will not be able to stop. Even if we were to make a decision about any of our provinces or public representatives, they can repeal or reverse the decision of the NEC through this case as a precedent," said Lekgoete.

The acting spokesperson said other court rulings where ANC decisions were overturned were left alone because they did not challenge the authority of the party's executive committee.

Lekgoete said the ANC had no issue with its decisions being overturned, saying the courts have told the party it was wrong and it needs to fix and implement the court judgments.

However, he said the decisions about the way forward came from the leadership of the ANC and were not targeted at just one province, as many have had to contend with what the higher structures of the movement decided.

The court is expected to deliver judgment on Wednesday.

Read more on:    anc  |  supra mahumapelo  |  mahikeng  |  pretoria  |  politics  |  courts
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