Disgruntled former ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) members in the North West, who took the party to court to challenge the legitimacy of the provincial conference held last year, have lost yet another court case in the Mahikeng High Court.
On Tuesday the court dismissed the case with costs following a nine-month battle.
The five members, Lebogang Medupi, Lesego Serapelwe, Puso Moeng, Sello Molefe and Itumeleng Moswane, approached the high court on an urgent basis just after the election of the new PEC led by Nono Maloyi.
Despite only five names being on court papers, City Press has learnt that more people wanted to joined but the court refused. This is the third time that the group has lost the case after two previous attempts, one of them at the Constitutional Court.
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They wanted the court to declare the provincial conference unlawful and invalid. They claimed that the conference was held in violation of the ANC constitution.
However, the court disagreed with the group that the ANC national executive committee was not empowered by the party's constitution to convene the conference. The court ruled that it was not a violation of the constitution when the NEC provided guidance and leadership at the conference.
“At the time of the provincial conference, there was no PEC and the court had declared that the term of office of the interim provincial committee (IPC) had expired.
As such the NEC as the highest organ of the ANC had to take all steps necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the objective of the ANC,” said Deputy Judge President Tebogo Jennifer Djaje .
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The group had argued in court that the NEC deployees in the province were also not authorised to convene the conference. They were part of the camp that lost out to the Maloyi faction, following a protracted internal battle in the province.
Last September City Press reported that the group's case was dismissed by the high court on the basis that it lacked urgency. The matter was then enrolled in the normal court roll.
The Constitutional Court argued that the group needed to follow the necessary procedure which included going through the high court and the Supreme Court of Appeal before the Constitutional Court. After that ruling, the group went back to the high court, which has now dismissed their case.
The group claimed that the provincial conference was held in violation of the party’s constitution following allegations of bogus delegates and vote rigging by the new PEC.
According to the court papers, the group was hoping the court would declare that the ANC’s decision on August 13 2022, to usurp the powers and functions of the ninth provincial conference, after the court had declared the day before, that the term of the IPC had lapsed, was in violation of the party's constitution and should be set aside.
The group wanted the court to interdict the conference, but the court ruled against them because the conference was already concluded when they lodged court papers. The group also wanted the provincial conference to be declared unlawful and invalid. However, the court dismissed the urgency of the matter, and the group enrolled the case in a normal motion roll. The case was later struck off the court roll for lacking urgency.
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The court indicated that the conference was already concluded. Some of the relief sought by the group were rendered moot.
After hearing arguments from the group and the ANC the court since early this year, the court finally delivered the judgment this week.