Bloemfontein -

The Constitutional Court will on Friday rule on an appeal by six Free State ANC members, just three days before the start of the party's elective conference in Mangaung.

The appeal was brought by Mpho Ramakatsa and five others, who want the African National Congress's provincial executive committee (PEC) dissolved.

They challenged the validity of the PEC in court last month, claiming the elections at branch level, where it was decided who would go to the provincial conference to vote for the PEC, were irregular.

The court heard allegations of “parallel branches” being formed, gangsterism and criminal activities to fund the parallel branches, and irregularities with branch audits and attendance registers.

The six asked the court to declare what had happened in the Free State unlawful and void, and that the PEC be replaced by an interim structure.

The ANC denied in court that the group's complaints had been ignored. Free State premier Ace Magashule and the PEC submitted there was no reason to doubt the bona fides of a national ANC task team sent to the Free State to investigate the complaints.

It was submitted the task team was made up of “very senior and prominent” and “trustworthy” ANC national executive committee members. - Sapa