In a letter sent to public representatives, Ntuli implores members to object to the virtual congress saying that it would not be practical and would leave the door open for the outcomes of that congress to be challenged.
“The federal congress is the highest level at which the will of the party’s duly elected members is expressed — as stated in our constitution. To this end, the federal congress is the highest decision-making body in the party and its members should all be included to deliberate on crucial matters.
“These include constitutional amendments, policy proposals, motions and recommendations. It is obstructive and implausible to facilitate rigorous debate and discussion with over 2,000 delegates and party members online. This makes it impossible for congress to express any mandate and have integrity,” Ntuli writes.
“Many rural communities will struggle with internet connectivity, causing many delegates to be left out of the process. Even in some urban settings, connectivity remains a challenge. The party will simply be unable to guarantee the full connectivity of all participants throughout the congress.”
The KwaZulu-Natal MPL said that there can be no guarantee that the congress would be free and fair.
“The security of the voting process and full participation at congress is fundamental to its integrity and legitimacy. There is no guarantee that the approved delegates will be the ones who will be voting or participating in a virtual congress. Nobody can guarantee that a delegate cannot give his or her access codes or log in passwords to someone else to vote or partake on his or her behalf, especially when intimidation and an environment of fear are prevalent in our party.
“This is according to testimony from our own members in the review report. There is no guarantee that every delegate's vote will be secret. This will compromise a free and fair election, especially noting the review report which indicates the party operates in an environment of fear.”
The party’s federal council will meet in July, when the decision will be put forward for ratification.