Home News ANC responds to court order questioning validity of KZN conference

ANC responds to court order questioning validity of KZN conference

ANC responds to court order questioning validity of KZN conference

Durban – Lawyers representing the ANC at a national level approached the South Gauteng High Court last month to apply for a ruling to be rescinded. They want the court to nullify an order that had declared a KZN provincial conference irregular and invalid.

In papers filed at the court, the ANC wants “to seek an order rescinding the judgment granted by Honourable J Makume by default dated 20 July”.

The matter will be heard on December 1.

While the ANC’s KZN leadership had attempted to downplay the court order, saying it was “a dispute involving a single ANC branch”, the order, if left unchallenged, has far-reaching consequences for the ruling party in the province.

The ANC applied for the rescission on October 24.

This was after the court granted an order by default that was in favour of an ANC member in the Josiah Gumede region, Nkosinathi Shabalala, who had taken the matter to court.

The order was granted by default as the ANC’s lawyers – those representing the ANC, its national executive committee, and its national dispute resolution committee – failed to appear in court for the matter.

Shabalala’s branch in the Alfred Duma Local Municipality had gone to court to dispute the processes that took place in the build-up to Josiah Gumede regional conference, which they were aggrieved over. They approached the court after the dispute resolution committee had made a ruling that was not in their favour.

The order, which was granted in July, read: “The ANC national dispute resolution committee verdict dated 18 December 2021 (should) be declared unlawful, null and void, and be set aside.”

The court directed that the NEC, within one month of the order, “remedy the breaches and violations by rerunning all the processes of the ANC Anton Lembede Branch (branch general meeting) that were earmarked for May 23, 2021 with the inclusive of the membership pending acceptance into the membership roll by the branch secretary”.

The respondents were ordered to pay costs.

Shabalala’s application claimed that the ANC Josiah Gumede regional executive committee, which he said was elected at an illegitimate ANC branch general meeting, should be dissolved.

Responding to the issue at a provincial executive committee briefing last Tuesday, provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said they were convinced the order would be rescinded.

If the order stands, the ANC’s KZN Josiah Gumede regional conference would have been declared invalid, and this would have consequences for the August ANC provincial conference, as the region had sent elected representatives to participate in that event.

The provincial conference saw Siboniso Duma defeat Sihle Zikalala to become the KZN chairperson of the party.

Josiah Gumede ANC spokesperson Bheki Khanyile said the original court order had meant there was uncertainty over the outcome of their regional and the provincial conference.

“We were not aware that the matter was in court in July, as no one was at our office when the summons was delivered, and we only became aware of it after the order was granted.

“We are not even sure why this matter, which deals with KwaZulu-Natal, is being heard in Gauteng.

“However, when we became aware of this issue, we relayed the information to the provincial executive committee and they engaged with the party’s national leadership, who had asked lawyers to attend to the matter,” said Khanyile.

Original Article