Group takes ANC top leadership to court
Four ANC members in the Eastern Cape have challenged the ANC, its top six leaders and the national executive committee to decide whether to endorse or reject the Ndebele Report.
The members from four branch wards filed an urgent application at the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday asking the court to compel their political party to decide on the contentious matter and accused the party of ignoring the report.
Ntombekhaya Gunguluza, Nomakaya Ntozini, Nkululeko Mali and Mbulelo Geswindt all demanded that the top six leaders be compelled to intervene in the matter.
The top-six, who have all been listed as respondents in the application, are ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, deputy president David Mabuza, secretary-general Ace Magashule, his deputy, Jessie Duarte, treasurer-general Paul Mashatile and national chairperson Gwede Mantashe.
"In this application, I seek, on an urgent basis, judicial review of the inaction of the second respondent in failing to carry out its duties in respect of the appeal lodged, most particularly the failure to make a decision concerning the Ndebele Report.
"I further seek to compel the second respondent to accept or reject the findings of the Ndebele report; accept recommendations of the Ndebele report and in so doing, implement same; reject the recommendations of the Ndebele report and in so doing provide written reasons as to why the recommendations are rejected," reads the four's affidavit.
According to the annexures attached to the application, the Ndebele Report had recommended that the Eastern Cape ANC provincial executive (PEC) should be disbanded and be replaced by an interim structure that was to include both provincial leaders Oscar Mabuyane and Premier Phumulo Masualle. The two were at the centre of the violence-marred provincial conference in September last year.
The two provincial leaders, who were chairperson and secretary respectively before the disputed conference according to the report, were expected to lead the unification and the healing process of members in the province.
The four ANC members said in the papers that the party failed to follow its constitution when dealing with the matter as it has duty to unite all members including people of SA. They also stated that the ANC failed to fulfil its obligation to ensure that all it's provincial, regional, branch structures and the leagues function democratically and effectively.
But, what appears to have prompted their application according to court documents, and their legal correspondence exchanged between their lawyers Wikus van Rensburg Attorneys and Magashule's office dated 23 April 2018, was the recent cabinet reshuffle, which allegedly happened on the instructions of the current PEC headed by premier Masualle.
They also stated in the papers that the PEC has also removed the chief whip of the provincial legislature and the powers of the REC [regional executive] of the Amathole region and has also launched disciplinary hearings against 25 councillors of Mnquma municipality allegedly for voting in as mayor a candidate not suggested by the PEC.
ANC spokesman Pule Mabe said: "The matter will be dealt with by the relevant structures of the ANC after being processed by the secretary-general's office."
Van Rensburg, the group's attorney, confirmed the application against the ANC and he was optimistic they would win.