Mpumalanga conference to be held despite court action, ANC insists

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Dakota Legoete.
Dakota Legoete.
Jabu Kumalo
  • The ANC provincial task team in Mpumalanga insists it is ready to host the conference on Friday. 
  • The conference faces the possibility of being halted after two ANC members filed an urgent court interdict. 
  • The ANC does not see this court action as a threat. 

ANC national executive committee (NEC) deployees to Mpumalanga and the provincial task team (PTT) say the party's provincial conference will go ahead, despite an urgent court application filed on Thursday to halt the conference. 

The ANC's PTT coordinator, Lindiwe Ntshalintshali, and the NEC's deployee to Mpumalanga, Dakota Legoete, said the province was "taking guidance" from its legal team. 

Legoete and Ntshalintshali insisted the conference was going ahead as planned from Friday. 

The two addressed the media on Thursday in Witbank. 

READ | ANC leadership appoints task teams for disbanded Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga structures 

"Ladies and gentlemen, our conference is sitting. The news that people are going to court to postpone it and are filing things in court does not change the fact that the conference is going ahead.

"It's not for the first time that we have people rushing to the court while we are going into a conference. Our new membership systems and guidelines are clear: they say every member should belong to a branch, so if you fail to convince your branch to nominate you and you are not a part of the conference, you can't rush to the courts.

"We don't take decisions from the courts, as the ANC. There is an NEC decision that says we have to hold the conference this weekend," said Ntshalintshali. 

She added that NEC deployees to Mpumalanga and the PTT acted according to legal advice. 

READ | 'Change is good': Mbali Ntuli resigns from DA and KwaZulu-Natal legislature

"Our advocates that we are working at a national level are there, and they are giving us guidance on what we should do, and they shall defend the court battle while the conference goes ahead. We don't want to be stressing ourselves and stop the conference. As you have seen, some of the members who were initially said to be a part of this interdict have already been distancing themselves," said Ntshalintshali. 

Court action 

Her comments come after two ANC Mpumalanga members, Vilanculo Francisco and Edward Mahlangu, approached the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday, asking the court to interdict the Mpumalanga elective conference. 

Francisco and Mahlangu argue that the PTT, appointed in March by the ANC NWC, was selected unlawfully.

The pair are ANC members based in Nkangala, Emalahleni region, in Mpumalanga.

They want the court to declare that "only the NEC of the ANC has powers to dissolve the PEC structures of the ANC" and that only the NEC can, therefore, appoint a task team.

The pair wants a court declaration that the NEC failed in its fiduciary duty when it failed to set aside the road map put in place by an illegitimate previous PEC structure.

They want the court to declare that the effective date for the appointment of the Mpumalanga task team is 25-27 March 2022 - and that the balance of the issues is remitted to the first and second respondents [ANC and ANC NEC] for reconsideration. 

The ANC's elective conference in Mpumalanga is expected to back Cyril Ramaphosa's second term as party leader.

The leadership race for the provincial chairperson position has the ANC's former acting chairperson, Mandla Ndlovu, and former provincial secretary Lucky Ndinisa being touted as challengers. 

Mpumalanga is one of eight ANC provinces scheduled to elect new leaders ahead of the ANC's national conference in December. 

The province last held a provincial conference in 2015, following the departure of former provincial chairperson David Mabuza. 

Efforts to set earlier dates for the conference were marred by violence, which plagued many of the province's branches. 

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