Cape Town - The ringleaders of last year's so-called “poo protests” in Cape Town have been welcomed back into the ANC fold, a Western Cape party official said on Monday.
“Loyiso Nkohla and Andile Lili have been re-instated as fully-fledged members of the ANC,” provincial disciplinary committee chairman Fezile Calana told Sapa.
“They can participate in structures just like any other person.”
Nkohla was expelled from the party following his involvement in last year's dumping of human faeces during protests in the city.
Nkohla and Lili, a former City of Cape Town councillor, were charged with, among others, bringing the African National Congress into disrepute.
Lili was given a suspended three-year sentence, disqualifying him from participating in ANC activities for one year.
They led protesters in dumping faeces on, among others, the steps of the Western Cape legislature and at Cape Town International Airport last year.
Calana said they decided to uphold the appeal based on technical flaws in the regional disciplinary committee's (RDC) proceedings.
The RDC had contravened the ANC constitution by exceeding time limits set for certain processes.
“The constitution states that once a structure is unable to make a decision in six months, then they must request an extension from the national disciplinary committee and they did not do this.”
There had also been an issue with the way the transcriptions of sessions were handled and who was given access to the recordings, Calana said.
He said such technical issues needed to be dealt with in future.
Anticipating criticism regarding the committee's decision, Calana said: “Whether we had ruled in favour or not in favour of the appeal, one has to uphold the constitution.”
He said that while Nkohla and Lili had conducted a campaign that was not endorsed or led by the ANC, they had taken forward the struggles of residents.
“The ANC has got to be within those communities and be able to take those struggles of the people and lead.
“If you were sitting with pota pota [portable toilets] inside the house for more than two days with your family, you would ask yourself how far those people in those areas should have been pushed.”
Lili was given his marching orders by the City of Cape Town in March last year after a multi-party disciplinary committee found him guilty on charges related to the illegal demolition of houses.
The Western Cape High Court upheld his expulsion.
Lili's application for leave to appeal against the court's ruling was denied at the start of the month, the Cape Times reported.