- The ANC has welcomed the dismissal Ace Magashule's application for leave to appeal his suspension.
- Spokesperson Pule Mabe said the ruling was a clear indication that the ANC had acted against Magashule within the parameters of the party's rules.
- Mabe said the ANC was always certain that the matter would be dismissed.
The ANC has welcomed the dismissal by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg of suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule’s application to appeal an earlier judgment upholding his suspension.
The party said the ruling was a clear confirmation that it had acted with in the parameters of its authority.
Speaking to the SABC on Monday morning following the high court’s ruling, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said: "The ANC has always been certain that the case it brought forward is consistent with its own constitution and that it did not act outside the parameters of its own constitution in terms of executing the decision to ask the secretary-general to step aside."
He added that the decision to suspend Magashule in May - in a letter signed by deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte - when the party said that he would be temporarily suspended until the outcome of his legal proceedings was "consistent with a resolution taken at the 54th national conference".
Magashule had argued that the national executive committee’s (NEC) step-aside resolution amounted to a narrowing down, repurposing or amending of the resolution of the national conference, but the court maintained that the decision was actually in line with the party’s own constitution and conference resolutions.
Mabe welcomed the findings, saying although he had not read the entire court judgment, he believed that "it seems to be an affirmation" of the fact that the NEC of the ANC "did not act outside the parameters and outside own own authority".
"We did what was empowered to us as the NEC of the ANC we applied the rules as set out in our own constitution and the guideline that we shall have put forward as it relates to conditions under which a member could be asked to step aside. We are represented by a team of lawyers who are dealing with that issue, we have left it to them to attend to that issue and I know that even when we did put forward an application to the court, our own lawyers would have prepared our own responding affidavits to that."
In a strongly worded ruling, the High Court said "there are no political imperatives which influenced" the courts decision, or any "prejudgment" of the issue before the court, as had been submitted by Magashule.
The judgment read:
The court also found that the judges had thoroughly analysed each material issue and had come to the conclusions based on the facts and the applicable law.
"The fact that the applicant may disagree with the factual findings of the court, even if such disagreement are copious, does not lead to the ineluctable conclusion that the court was biased," read the ruling.
The court found that "none of the decisions that this court made on the various factual issues which it decided on were so unreasonable that a perception of, or actual bias, can be shown".
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