Court bid ‘to save soul of Free State ANC’

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IOL pic june8 anc flag Independent Newspapers Photo: Phill Magakoe

ANC members have a right to try and save the soul of the African National Congress in the Free State, party member Mpho Ramakatsa said on Wednesday.

He was speaking on behalf of six ANC members who have filed an application in the Bloemfontein High Court to nullify the results of the provincial elective conference held in Parys at the weekend.

Ramakatsa said the Free State delegation at the ANC's national policy conference being held in Midrand should be excused because it was not legitimate.

The court bid would focus on processes leading up to the provincial conference.

Ramakatsa said the party's policy and guidelines, as stipulated in the party's constitution, were not followed.

The respondents in the matter are the newly elected provincial executive committee (PEC) in the Free State ANC.

ANC provincial secretary William Bulwana said he was aware of the application but would not comment right away.

He said the party’s lawyers were studying the application. Ramakatsa said the court action was aimed at protecting the dignity of the ANC in the Free State.

The applicants felt they had exhausted all avenues to in a bid to rectify perceived constitutional transgressions within party structures.

“One has no other answer; no other credible way,” said Ramakatsa, adding that attempts had been made to stop the applicants from going to court.

He said all local branches should have a fair chance to elect leaders on an equal footing and in a democratically correct way.

Members had a right to be voted for, he said.

Ramakatsa said no decisive actions were being taken at national level to address their grievances.

“The national leadership has taken away our power to reason.”

The applicants in the matter are branch and regional ANC leaders in the Thaba Mafutsanyana (eastern Free State), Gariep (southern Free State) and Motheo (Bloemfontein) regions.

Ramakatsa said members at branch level who raised concerns on flawed processes were branded “factionists” by national executive members (NEC) deployed to look into problems.

He said the branch audit processes, under the office of ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, were flawed in terms of the ANC constitution.

“We wrote a number of letters to the provincial secretary and secretary-general. This was to no avail.”

Ramakatsa said the final audit of Free State branches was continuing while the provincial conference was already in session last week.

He urged the ANC NEC to apply its mind properly to bring about an acceptable remedy to the problems in the Free State.

“The NEC must ensure that the ANC constitution is enforced with dignity and respect, and they must do their work assigned to them by the same constitution.”

The court application was expected to be heard by the Bloemfontein High Court on Thursday. - Sapa


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