We don't want KZN to be an issue at conference – Zikalala

2017-12-15 19:50
KZN ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala. (City Press)

KZN ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala. (City Press)

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Johannesburg – Some leaders of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal will participate in Saturday's national elective conference only as branch delegates after a High Court ruling stated that the province's executive committee (PEC) be dissolved.

This comes after the High Court in Pietermaritzburg granted the PEC leave to appeal its August decision to nullify the outcomes of a 2015 provincial congress which saw Sihle Zikalala defeat Senzo Mchunu to become chairperson of the ANC's largest province.

The court also ruled that the PEC should vacate office while the process of a review was underway.

READ: Dlamini-Zuma strongholds in desperate attempt to appeal court judgments

Speaking to reporters at the University of Johannesburg's Soweto campus where delegates were being accredited for the conference, Zikalala said 12 out of the 27 PEC members would participate as voting delegates while the rest would be at the conference as guests or not attend at all.

He said the committee had noted the judgment – two points in particular. 

"Firstly we have been granted leave to appeal so we are going to appeal the initial judgment. Second point is that we should not be in the office while the judgment is being processed."

'We don't want to be stuck on credentials' 

He described the matter of the current PEC vacating office as being "neither here nor there" for the province's leadership.

He added that the province would still wait to hear from the ANC's national executive committee on the matter.

In the meantime, the KwaZulu-Natal delegation had taken a decision that it would not participate in the conference as members of the PEC, but as branch delegates and non-voting delegates instead.

"We don't want [this] to be an issue. We don't want a conference to be stuck on credentials about the status of KZN PEC," he said.

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

The recent wave of court applications involving ANC members hauling the party before the courts would form part of discussions at the watershed conference, Zikalala added.

The court ruling on the KwaZulu-Natal ANC dispute formed part of three judgments handed down by the courts on Friday on matters involving the legitimacy of the outcomes of the party's regional and provincial conferences.

Signs of division

The ANC also received a blow from the courts in the Free State and the North West.

Zikalala insisted that the ANC was a "political" and "organisational" institution.

"Interpreting it from different points you may arrive at different conclusions," said Zikalala.

He said the court matters were not about constitutional issues but were a sign of the divisions within the movement. The courts were being used to fight the party's internal matters, he said.

Zikalala said the battle within the ANC was not one of personalities but a fight between "capitalists" and those who represent the poor.

Without pointing fingers at any of the candidates in the presidential race, Zikalala said he was told that accommodation had been booked at Montecasino by a well known services, trading, and distribution company.

"[It is] for the first time that we see a conference of the ANC with capitalists booking five hotels," he said.

"It is booking hotels on behalf of ANC people, yet not through the ANC mandate. These are things we are seeing for the first time, but we are going to overcome," said Zikalala.

No stopping NDZ

He dismissed the suggestion that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's bid for the party's presidency would suffer following court judgments that barred some ANC members of the party's structures in three provinces that are staunch Dlamini-Zuma supporters from voting in the elective conference.

"We are not shaken in terms of numbers, qualitative and quantitatively. We've got nothing to lose," he said.

"We are not going to elect a leadership which does not mirror a programme we want," he said, referring to policies of radical economic transformation and the expropriation of land without compensation, which Dlamini-Zuma supports.

"We want radical economic transformation and we will elect leaders who are not going to be apologetic, who will implement that."

He said he was sure Dlamini-Zuma would be victorious at the conference and that the party would emerge united after her election.

"We will emerge united and led by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. We don't doubt that we are going to win," said Zikalala.

Read more on:    anc  |  sihle zikalala  |  senzo mchunu  |  anc leadership race  |  anc votes  |  politcs

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