Judge Jacques Henriques granted an urgent interdict to postpone the conference just as it was expected to resume.
ANC members from the Harry Gwala, Lower South Coast, Moses Mabhida and uKhahlamba regions made a last-minute application on Friday.
It was understood that the applicants maintained that the issues they had been trying to address with provincial and national leadership, such as gatekeeping and political killings, needed to be confronted before the conference proceeded.
Following the court decision, the ANC on Friday decided to convert the elective conference into a consultative conference.But on Saturday morning, the consultative conference was cancelled altogether after verbal clashes on Friday.
At the University of Zululand last night, ANC KZN provincial task team (PTT) convenor Mike Mabuyakhulu was insulted by party delegates who were angry at the court decision.
VIDEO: #ANCKZN delegates say there will be a war if the conference does not go ahead. Earlier, the PMB court granted an urgent interdict halting the conference. Video: Samkelo Mtshali /@IOLPolitics pic.twitter.com/HdC0fYxAin
Delegates hurled insults at Mabuyakhulu, who is believed to be a Cyril Ramaphosa confidant, and told him that he was a hypocrite and that they were not going to elect him.
He is also believed to be associated with the party members who went to court, while those who threw insults are believed to be associated with PTT co-ordinator Sihle Zikalala.
Mabuyakhulu said the interdict did not mean the PTT had failed its mandate.
“Those members of the ANC are coming from three regions we have disbanded and postponed their conferences because we wanted to deal with certain matters,” he said.
“We have certain numbers of the ANC members who feel aggrieved but the ANC constitution says we have far surpassed the 70% threshold that was required,” said Mabuyakhulu.
He said the PTT would consult with the court applicants to find ways of bringing them on board to allow the conference to sit.
He added that the ANC’s national dispute committee had been to the regions in a bid to deal with festering issues and added that the party had not foreseen that the conference would be interdicted.
UKZN’s Zakhele Ndlovu, a political analyst, said the party has not shown willingness to learn from its mistakes.
“Their legal advisers should have advised them to postpone the conference as there are people who felt that they were unfairly excluded. People would not want to vote for people who are not united. I can guarantee you the ANC is not ready for the election campaigns,” said Ndlovu.
A senior ANC leader, who asked not to be named, said the failure of the province to hold the conference was a serious concern ahead of next year’s elections.
“Right now we have not even started to come up with campaign strategy, and with this we won’t start campaigning because we don’t have leadership,” he said.
Another leader said the court applicants defied the ANC’s instruction to resolve matters internally. “These people have become a law unto themselves. They are aggrieved because they’ve been rejected by their regions.” The court matter was adjourned to July 7. - Additional reporting ANA
THE INDEPENDENT ON SATURDAY / POLITICS HUB