File photo: Sizwe Ndingane

Johannesburg - The deeply divided Eastern Cape African National Congress (ANC) on Wednesday welcomed the NEC appeals task team appointed to resolve disputes in the province ahead of the much awaited December elective conference.

''The provincial working committee (PWC) will ensure that all structures and members of the ANC in the province cooperate with the process commissioned by the ANC national executive committee (NEC), and affirmed that the process should also be used to strengthen unity of the ANC in the province,'' said provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi, after a special PWC meeting held in Port Elizabeth to iron out the disputed election outcome.

The Eastern Cape appeals task team is chaired by Sbu Ndebele. Others members are Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Joyce Moloi-Moropa and Sdumo Dlamini. The Eastern Cape is one of the three problem-plagued provinces where provincial conference outcomes are challenged in court. Only 56 percent of Eastern Cape branch general meetings (BGMs) had been held by Tuesday. North West was at 54 percent while KwaZulu-Natal lagged behind at 40 percent. 

KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape executive committees face court challenges instituted by disgruntled  members.

Ngcukayitobi said BGMs were continuing smoothly ahead of the Wednesday midnight deadline.

''BGMs are running smoothly and not affected by the appeals. It is unfortunate that apart from the process set up by the NEC, there's a court case running parallel as well. If an appeal has been lodged to the NEC, the NEC has to listen to that process.''