Ramaphosa camp turns to high court

Ace Magashule, the ANC provincial chairman and Free State premier, says leaders and members must find each other if they do not want the party to perish.
Ace Magashule, the ANC provincial chairman and Free State premier, says leaders and members must find each other if they do not want the party to perish.
Image: Mduduzi Ndzingi

ANC members aligned to presidential candidate Cyril Ramaphosa are heading to the Bloemfontein High Court tomorrow in a bid to stop the party in the province from participating at the elective conference in Nasrec, Soweto, this weekend.

In court papers, the group wants the court to declare the outcomes of the ANC Free State provincial conference as unlawful and unconstitutional.

Ace Magashule, the ANC provincial chairman and Free State premier, was
re-elected uncontested at the conference.

Former ANC deputy provincial chairman Thabo Manyoni, who was challenging Magashule for the chairmanship's position, boycotted the conference.

Last month, the court ruled that the conference was not to be held until certain branch general meetings within the province had been held in a lawful manner and in accordance with the constitution of the ANC.

The disgruntled ANC members are now complaining that the leadership in the province is in contempt of court in that they went ahead with the conference.

The group also wants the provincial general council to be declared unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid.

Magashule and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe were yesterday served with court papers by the disgruntled members of the party. ANC Free State spokesman Thabo Meeko confirmed court papers were received. "We are preparing for the court case but you can rest assured that Free State delegates will attend the national elective conference."

This happened as aggrieved ANC members in Mpumalanga, who support Mathews Phosa's bid to be the next ANC leader, withdrew an urgent court application in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg yesterday.

The high court was expected to hear an urgent bid to have the branch general meetings that nominated "unity" as their candidate declared null and void, unlawful and unconstitutional.

Mpumalanga ANC secretary Mandla Ndlovu said the withdrawal meant ANC members must use party internal processes to deal with problems.

Sowetan understands a meeting was convened by the ANC's legal team to find an amicable solution among the warring factions on Monday. Dali Mpofu, who represented Phosa's supporters, told the court the two parties managed to find each other.

Ronnie Malomane, Phosa's campaign manager, said the agreement between the ANC legal team and the applicants was that about 60 ANC delegates who were wrongfully removed should be allowed to participate at the (national elective) conference. "Our delegates were wrongfully removed and replaced with bogus delegates," said Malomane.

Free State and Mpumalanga are backing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to replace President Jacob Zuma as leader of the governing party.

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