THE Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled on Tuesday, September 12, that the outcome of the 2015 ANC KZN elective conference was “unlawful and invalid”.
The court order reads: “The Eighth KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Elective Conference of the African National Congress held at Pietermaritzburg from November 6 to 8, 2015 and decisions taken at that conference are declared unlawful and void.”
The applicants sought a court order to declare the decisions, resolutions and elections at the conference as unlawful and invalid and that they be set aside.
“The judgment was that the conference held in 2015, November, was unlawful and all its decisions are illegal,” said the spokesperson of the applicants, Sthembiso Mshengu.
The applicants were awarded the costs, meaning the defendants must pay the legal costs, which could be in the millions, said Mshengu.
The order reads: “The Thirty-Eighth Respondent is directed to pay one half of the Applicants’ costs of the application, such costs to include the costs of two counsel.”Mshengu added that the current Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) must vacate the office and the party must appoint a task team that would provide “stewardship” over the ANC in KZN. He said the constitution of the party states that the process of re-electing a PEC should take place within three months but, he said, due to the ruling the current PEC should vacate the office immediately. Mshengu said he does not believe the judgment might cause factions within the party, but said, “this is one uniting decision where all processes must start from the beginning where all of us will participate on equal grounds”. According to reports, ANC KZN spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said the PEC would review the judgment to consider whether or not it should be appealed. The court found there were a number of irregularities leading to the conference. The irregularities include “that branches were not furnished timeously - stated to be two weeks before the BGM [branch general meeting] date - with pre-audit membership rolls, to ensure that all members of branches had been correctly captured, that branches were not given an adequate opportunity to appeal against the results of the audit, thus resulting in
some branches being excluded from
participating in the PC [provincial conference], that branches were excluded from being accredited, which entailed, [firstly,] that the credentials report was adopted at the PC while appeals were pending or under way [and secondly,] that branches that had appealed successfully were not accredited at the PC, and that the voting process or results appeared to have been manipulated or influenced”.
The 2015 provincial conference saw current ANC KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala oust Senzo Mchunu at the helm. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2