ANC members challenge outcome of 2018 Free State conference in court
Johannesburg - The battle to overturn the outcomes of the ANC Free State provincial conference is heading to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Monday.
Disgruntled ANC members are challenging the 2018 conference at which Police, Roads and Transport MEC Sam Mashinini was elected to replace the governing party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule.
ANC members Matshepo Ramakatsa, Themba Mvandaba and Shashapa Motaung are challenging the lawfulness and validity of the conference.
”The ANC’s conduct of its affairs in the Free State has been riddled with irregularities and unlawfulness. Even after two separate high court proceedings holding that the ANC in the Free State had acted unlawfully, the May 2018 provincial conference was still unlawful,” reads the SCA application.
The party members insist that the required audit of ANC branches did not occur in advance of the conference and that at least eight branch general meetings (BGMs) did not take place lawfully, in compliance with the relevant requirements or previous court orders granted against the ANC.
Ramakatsa, Mvandaba and Motaung accuse the ANC of failing to conduct an audit process of all branches and membership and that the meetings took place not more than nine months before the date of the conference.
They have told the country’s second highest court that the ANC’s conduct of its affairs in the Free State has been riddled with irregularities and unlawfulness.
”Given the failure of the respondents (the ANC and its Free State provincial executive committee [PEC]) to respond squarely and with sufficient detail to the allegations made by the applicants, the contradiction between the versions of the first and second respondents and the effect of the attendance registers, we submit that it ought to be accepted that there has not been compliance with the audit requirement,” read the members’ court papers.
The three members continue: “We therefore submit that the provincial conference was unlawful and invalid and seek an order granting leave to appeal.”
Ramakatsa, Mvandaba and Motaung list the irregularities including that a branch annual general meeting convened a year before the provincial gathering in May 2017 the meeting was quorate with a total of 302 members who had attended.
“In contrast, the BGM that was held on May 13, 2018, only saw a total of 19 members who attended. This is approximately 3% of the branch’s total membership. The reason for the exceptionally low attendance is plain. Members were not invited. The second respondent (ANC Free State PEC) does not even allege that members were notified of the BGM that was held on 13 May 2018. No real attempt was made to lawfully convene a BGM for this affected branch,” the three members maintain.
The disgruntled members continue: “A further irregularity was that the attendance register attached to the answering affidavit of the second respondent, was not signed by the branch chairman nor the secretary as is required in terms of the ANC guidelines”.