ANC in contempt of court, says member
Johannesburg - The ANC has been exposed by one of its own members for disregarding a high court order made against it more than three years ago.
Lucas Ngobeni, an activist in Soshanguve, Tshwane, dragged the ANC to the North Gauteng High Court after he was mysteriously removed as its Ward 89 councillor candidate. He obtained the order against the ANC a week before the 2016 municipal elections.
Judge Natvarlal Ranchod reviewed and set aside the party's decision not to field Ngobeni as a candidate.
In a court hearing the ANC snubbed by not sending lawyers to represent it, Ngobeni argued that he was duly elected by his branch to stand as a candidate, but “much to my surprise” the ANC fielded an “unknown” Maria Skhosana.
After more than three years of finding no joy in getting the ANC to address the apparent irregularity, Ngobeni went back to the high court.
He wanted the party to be held in contempt of court. The University of Pretoria Law Clinic was assisting him in the application.
“I respectfully submit that the ANC has failed to comply with the court order dated 28 July 2016, and is in wilful contempt of court,” Ngobeni said in the papers filed in court.
“It has been more than two years since the order was granted, however the ANC continues to disregard the court order. I have without any success (in) attempting to contact the first respondent more than once.”
Just days after the ruling in 2016, the ANC informed Ngobeni's then lawyers that it intended to bring an appeal application.
“We were initially informed by the first respondent's attorney that they have appealed the court's judgment, however we were later informed that the appeal was never formalised.
“The failure by the first respondent to comply with the court order has financially and emotionally prejudiced my family and me,” he said.
Ngobeni was one of a number of ANC members who complained that their names were switched after branches nominated them to run as councillors in 2016.
Disgruntled members staged several protests outside Luthuli House over the issue ahead of the last council elections.
Kgosientso Ramokgopa, then ANC Tshwane chairperson, admitted after the local elections that grievances by some party members over candidate selection processes cost the party votes in the capital city.
At the disputed Ward 89 in Soshanguve, the ANC went from 93.12% in 2011 to 66.99% votes. Its total votes went from 11 749 in 2011 to 8 906 this year.
It was relegated to the opposition benches in the capital city for the first time since 1994.
Spokesperson Pule Mabe did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.