Free State ANC discord deepens

2013-05-10 16:22
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Bloemfontein - Political discord in the Free State ANC continued on Friday, when some members announced further legal action in a battle over leadership.

Mpho Ramakatsa alleges that a provincial task team (PTT) appointed by the African National Congress's national structure in December did not have the party’s interests at heart.

He said the ANC national executive committee (NEC) members deployed to the Free State to help rerun its provincial elective conference had failed the party.

He also claimed that some party branches - including his own - were deliberately excluded from the conference at the weekend.

Provincial conference

The Free State ANC announced on Wednesday that it would rerun its provincial conference in Welkom at the weekend.

However, it would go ahead without the official participation of Ramakatsa, who is one of six ANC members who challenged the legality of the previous Free State leadership.

They succeeded in getting the Constitutional Court to declare the provincial executive committee's (PEC) decisions and resolutions unlawful and invalid, because the ANC had not addressed certain irregularities about its elective conference. As a result, the PEC was dissolved.

"[Ramakatsa's] branch is not part of the conference, because it did not have a meeting to prepare for the conference," spokesperson Oupa Khoabane said at the time.

Ramakatsa claimed the effect of move was "to bar some ANC members from partaking in ANC life".

He said those being excluded were members whose views differed from those of the current leadership.

"We are not going to court on an urgent basis, but with a normal application," Ramakatsa said on Friday.

"We would make a review application, and also hold them for contempt of court."

Legal advice

Ramakatsa said the group had met with its lawyers on Thursday to decide the way forward on Thursday.

He refuted allegations that the dispute was about a struggle for power by individuals within the party. "No. It's to save the soul of the ANC," he said.

Ramakatsa said members were quick to judge and condemn those who questioned the illegal party processes last year.

"We appeal to them to judge the issues on merit," he said, adding that the group had been vindicated by the Constitutional Court judgment.

"We stand for justice and history would vindicate us again."

Ramakatsa said the NEC members and PTT were, on Friday, apparently seeing groups and individuals who had raised concerns about the processes leading up to the rerun.

Some of the concerns being dealt with now had been submitted last month, he said.

"We believe what they do now is to create the impression there were attempts to meet others and to address their concerns."

Ramakatsa said the group was approaching the court again because it had tried to resolve the matter using all internal processes as stipulated by the ANC’s constitution.

"We are left with no option," he said, and added that no-one was above the law.

Read more on:    anc  |  mpho ramakatsa  |  bloemfontein  |  politics

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