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Grahamstown High Court dismisses bid to nullify ANC Eastern Cape Elective Conference

Dec 12, 2017
Grahamstown High Court dismisses bid to nullify ANC Eastern Cape Elective Conference

The Grahamstown High Court on Tuesday dismissed an application by disgruntled African National Congress (ANC) members to nullify the election of the party's 8th Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) with costs.

The new PEC was elected at an elective conference that was held at the end of September.

Some ANC delegates at that conference, believed to be supporters of former ANC Eastern Cape Chairperson and current Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, launched an urgent bid to have the conference be declared null and void after apparently being prevented from participating in the voting.

In the end, former ANC Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary, Oscar Mabuyane was elected the new ANC Eastern Cape Chairperson, by a massive 935 votes - beating Masualle, who got only seven votes.

The conference itself saw delays as delegates caused interruptions leading to violence that saw around eight delegates taken to hospital.

But before Mabuyane could celebrate his elections, he was told of another urgent court interdict, which was heard in the East London High Court in October.

While Judge Belinda Hartley ruled that the papers filed for that interdict could be used for a possible review of the conference, she struck the application off the rolland ruled that the applicants had to pay the costs of the application.

ANC Eastern Cape welcomes Grahamstown High Court ruling

"We welcome today's court judgement against the disgruntled group’s application to nullify the ANC 8th Provincial Conference outcomes at the Grahamstown High Court as it once again, affirms the right of the African National Congress to determine its own conferences, procedures and proceedings in terms of its Constitution without interference," said ANC Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary, Lulama Ngcukayitobi.

"The application was frivolous, as it essentially sought to ask the Court to grant them the carte blanche right to disrupt our preparations for the 54th National Conference.

"We have always been of a belief that such an argument by applicants was both nonsensical and unsound."

Ngcukayitobi said that the applicants case was an attempt to cajole the judiciary into being party to their unconstitutional and silly decision not to recognize and accept the ANC Eastern Cape 8th Provincial Conference outcomes.

"The ANC is relieved not only for its own sake but for the multitudes of Eastern Cape people, represented by religious fraternity, traditional and business leaders and in particular the poor and the downtrodden who look to our movement for the progress, stability and harmony of our Province for solution of triple challenges besetting them.

"This court ruling teaches members of the ANC to refuse any temptations of taking ANC matters to court when there are internal remedies within the organization to explore," Ngcukayitobi said.

"The judgement will strengthen the ANC’s resolve to work for the unity and cohesion of the Province, build stronger and coherent structures and ensure the Provincial Government and all elements of state are held accountable by the public and the ANC for their performance of public duty.

"Any attempt to seek public sympathy from these matters by resorting to unnecessary court challenges is mischievous."

Ngcukayitobi said that the judgement affirms the correctness of our processes leading to the 8th Provincial Conference and conference proceedings.

"Indeed, our judiciary ought to remain guarded at all times against attempts by some individuals to exploit the courts in their attempts to erode democratic practices of our glorious movement."

Endorsed Cyril Ramaphosa

The ANC in the Eastern Cape at the beginning of December overwhelmingly endorsed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma at this weekend's National Elective Conference, following its Special Provincial General Council (PGC) in preparation for the upcoming conference.

In October, the newly-elected ANC Eastern Cape had also endorsed Ramaphosa.