Judge calls the ANC to order

A BLOEMFONTEIN High Court Judge has slammed the ANC infighting and called on the ruling party to put its house in order.

"The ANC is a big party in the country and it must get its house in order. There is no court that can resolve the internal problems of the party," Justice Mojalefa Rampai said in court yesterday.

Rampai dismissed an application by a group of ANC Free State members (known as the Regime Change) who wanted the June election of the party's provincial leadership - led by Free State Premier Ace Magashule - to be declared null and void.

Tensions ran high outside court where police used barbed wire to keep Magashule's supporters and those of the Regime Change faction from clashing.

The Regime Change supporters chanted slogans against Magashule and President Jacob Zuma.

Some carried "coffins" made from boxes with pictures of Magashule and Zuma on the outside.

T-shirts with Zuma's face were torn, then thrown on the ground and trampled on.

Some Regime Change supporters wore T-shirts bearing the faces of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, North West Premier Thandi Modise and ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa.

On the opposing side, Magashule's supporters carried flags showing the faces of Zuma and Magashule. They chanted pro-Zuma and pro-Magashule songs.

Regime Change spokesman Monnapule Ntamo said they would appeal the judgment, which he described as "unfair".

ANC provincial spokesman Oupa Khoabane welcomed the judgment. He said the provincial leadership would study the judgment before deciding on the action to be taken against the Regime Change members.

Magashule, who was first elected in 1992, is the longest serving ANC provincial chairman.

- ntwagaes@sowetan.co.za

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