The victorious leaders addressed the media soon after judgment was handed down.
Judge Piet Koen, with judges Sharmaine Balton and Mahendra Chetty concurring, found the decisions taken at the ANC provincial conference in Pietermaritzburg in November 2015 were “unlawful and void”.
One of these decisions was to elect Sihle Zikalala as the provincial chairperson instead of Senzo Mchunu.
Once elected, Zikalala oversaw some regional conferences, including that of the eThekwini region, which was held in December 2015.
Mchunu’s backer, MPL Nhlakanipho Ntombela, told Independent Media on Tuesday that the leadership of the eThekwini region should also be nullified.
“This court decision has implications (for) some of the regional conferences that were convened after the provincial conference, including eThekwini whose conference was presided over by this provincial executive committee (PEC).”
The election of eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede as the chairperson of the ANC’s biggest region in the country left supporters of another contender, James Nxumalo, crying foul. Nxumalo pulled out of the race, protesting that branch meetings that were held in preparation for the regional conference were irregular and had been rigged.
ANC eThekwini secretary Bheki Ntuli said the consequences of the judgment would depend on the decision of the national executive committee (NEC).
“We cannot say whether we are upset or not, but we believe that the PEC was elected in a legitimate manner,” said Ntuli.
Ntombela said the PEC had “as from today” no authority to take decisions on behalf of the ANC.
“Even if they file an appeal, they would not be able to function until the appeal has been finalised.
“There is no action that will be taken by the current PEC and this includes all its structures, from its disciplinary committee to any other substructure,” he said.
Four of Mchunu’s supporters, Lawrence Dube, Sibahle Zikalala, Mzweni Ngcobo and Lindiwe Buthelezi, approached the court to overturn the results of the provincial conference, which was held in Pietermaritzburg.
Speaking on behalf the applicants, Dube called on the NEC to intervene and reverse the decision to remove Mchunu as the premier.
“We want to see all of the decisions overturned. When the court says these people are unlawful, it means all the decisions that were taken, including removing Senzo (Mchunu), the deployment issue and all others, are wrong,” said Dube.
He said he would have preferred to see the nullified leadership “packing their things and leaving the office”.
“If the NEC is just, it must dissolve this PEC,” he said.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the NEC was studying the court ruling in order to understand its political implications.