Urgency of disgruntled ANC members' fight against mother body to be decided on Wednesday

Three ANC members, who are challenging the lawfulness of the provincial list conference in the Free State, will find out on Wednesday whether their application should be heard on an urgent basis.
Three ANC members, who are challenging the lawfulness of the provincial list conference in the Free State, will find out on Wednesday whether their application should be heard on an urgent basis.
Image: Stephanie de Sakutin

Three disgruntled ANC members in the Free State will find out on Wednesday if their attempt to declare the ANC provincial list conference unlawful is urgent or not.

The South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday only heard arguments on whether the application by Dan Kgothule, Mokotso Mokotso and Mongi Ntwanambi should be heard as urgent. The court will pass judgment on Wednesday.

The three, who filed their urgent application last Wednesday, also want the court to declare that the conference, its resolutions and outcomes were null and void - including the election of the nominated candidates for the Free State legislature and the National Assembly.

Their application is opposed by the ANC and the party’s Free State provincial executive committee (PEC), which said the matter was not urgent.

If the court disagrees and rules the matter urgent, it would then draft a timetable on how the parties should file papers so that it can be heard before the May 8 national and provincial elections.

But if the court rules against them, it is the end of the road for the three men.

Counsel for the three, Anwar Albertus SC, said they had approached the court on the basis that the process that was followed to compile the list was flawed.

Albertus said that although the party list was finalised by the ANC on March 13, the three men had engaged attorneys and tried to obtain the services of senior counsel Dali Mpofu and advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.

Albertus said the counsel sat on the matter for two weeks before they indicated they could not take the brief. Albertus said the attorneys then approached a second set of advocates, who also could not take the brief.

“An inordinate amount of time has been lost while trying to get services of senior counsel,” Albertus said.

He said the three men should not be punished for the fact that counsel they approached did not act expeditiously.

However, counsel for the Free State PEC, Ishmael Semenya SC, said the three men could not demonstrate that they would suffer irreparable harm if the matter is not heard before elections.

Semenya said the non-placement on the list can still be challenged after the elections.

Counsel for the ANC, William Mokhari SC, accused the three of not complying with the Practice Manual, which sets out how the court functions.

The Practice Manual set out that when an urgent application is brought for the Tuesday, the applicant must ensure that the required relevant papers are filed with the Registrar by the preceding Thursday at noon.

Mokhari said the three did not set out under oath why they defied the Practice Manual had been defied.

“In the absence of an explanation under oath , the court should strike the matter off the roll,” Mokhari said.

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