ANC Eastern Cape outgoing secretary Oscar Mabuyane (left) and outgoing chairman Phumulo Masualle at the conference on Friday evening, before the elections. Mabuyane was overwhelmingly elected provincial chairman, defeating Masualle's bid for a third term. Photo: ANA
THE ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and the Free State may be in disarray but Monday’s court ruling could throw a spanner in the works of those who are disgruntled and want to turn to those very same courts for relief.

That’s the view of political analyst Thabani Khumalo in response to the East London High Court ruling which struck from the roll an urgent application brought to challenge the outcome of the Eastern Cape elective conference.

“The court ruling has hurt a faction that walked out of a meeting the court has proven that this tactic will not work.

“(Former mayor) James Khumalo’s supporters tried the same thing in eThekwini when that faction walked out of a conference and (current mayor) Zandile Gumede was elected eThekwini regional chairperson and that decision was endorsed by the NEC,” Khumalo commented.

He said that simply walking out of a conference was no longer an option to try and delay or disrupt the process.

“Anyone who thinks they can disrupt December’s elective conference in this way will find it will not work.”

Khumalo said if the NEC approved the results of a conference now, there was very little chance of a court overturning that decision.

The KZN rebels and the nullified PEC met with the NEC yesterday over the fate of the 2015 provincial conference.

Here, court processes have left the party in limbo in the province.

The ANC wants a political solution and not one that comes from the courts. In the Free State, chairperson Ace Magashule and his deputy Thabo Manyoni may try to turn to the courts to resolve their differences but the ANC in the province could be in danger of missing the chance to hold its elective conference.

University of the Witwatersrand political analyst Professor Susan Booysen said the Eastern Cape court ruling places a lid on one of the options available to stall an ANC conference but this does not stop those who are disgruntled from disrupting the December elective conference. “The ANC is determined to make the conference happen but there is a build-up of momentum to make the tide turn.

“This is an important time for the ANC and although it is going through a tough time, the party is looking for an opportunity to self-correct and this can only be done through an elective conference.”

Political Bureau