THE ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) will soon know its fate as the mother body seeks legal opinion on what direction to take following the bruising court ruling.
ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe on Friday announced after a special National Executive Conference meeting that the party’s highest decision-making body has full confidence in the judiciary and accepts the judgment of the full bench of the Pietermaritzburg High Court in relation to the 2015 ANC KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Conference.
He, however, indicated that the party was still seeking legal counsel to get clarity on the implications of the ruling and what steps it can take.
“[The] NEC, however, felt there was a need for further consultation with legal counsel to gain greater clarity on the decision of the court as it deals with Rule 17(2)(1) of the ANC Constitution and further engage the possibility of success in appealing the judgement,” he said.
Mantashe further added that as they were still mulling over what steps to take, they would set up a Task Team to lead the province, subsequently rendering the current leadership powerless and paving a way to have them removed.
Disputed provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala’s victory and the results of the conference were clouded by controversy with allegations that the conference was manipulated.
Mantashe said the party did not want courts to intervene on party matters and they should find a way of resolving issues on their own. He said plans would be put in place for the province to have another conference.
“The NEC mandated the National Working Committee (NWC) to establish a strong, inclusive and unifying Provincial Task Team (PTT) which will be tasked with preparing for a Provincial Conference in KwaZulu-Natal. The NEC does not believe that the ANC should continue to give reason to the courts to intervene in the matters of the organization, which should be managed politically. The ANC must take charge of the challenges facing the movement and deal with them decisively,” he said.
Mantashe said the rule and clause within the party’s constitution which was the basis for the court action would be discussed during the December conference with the hope to plug loopholes.
“Further the NEC will place for consideration by the National Conference the amendment of Rule 17(2)(1) of the ANC Constitution to ensure its interpretation is not mechanical nor at odds with its intent. These decisions were underpinned by two primary considerations being to find a unifying solution and reasserting the authority of the ANC, rather than the courts, in the political management and administration of the issues confronting the ANC. We must ensure that at all time when disputes arise within the movement, we must resolve them ourselves. The NEC was unanimous on the need to ensure that this ruling and the consequent process must represent a unifying moment for the organization and membership of KwaZulu-Natal,” Mantashe said.
He also used the briefing to give an update on the preparations for the December conference. He said membership audits of eight provinces have been completed, with the Eastern Cape being the only outstanding province. Mantashe said the delegations of the various provinces will be allocated proportionally and consequently allocate delegates to branches proportionally.
“Branch General Meetings to consolidate branch positions on policy, nominate candidates for election to the NEC and nominate branch delegates will now commence. The electoral commission, its terms of reference as well as the nomination guidelines have been approved by the NEC and these will be circulated to all branches to guide the BGMs. All objections and appeals will be dealt with during November 2017. NEC has directed that all appeals must be submitted within 48 hours from the conclusion of the BGM for them to be entertained,” he said.