Johannesburg - Dozens of delegates at the ANC national conference gave the party until 2pm on Wednesday to include their ballots in the results of the top six elections.
Delegates from Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal’s Abaqulusi region say certain irregularities were committed against them and that they were neither counted nor included in the total number of votes that were cast for the ANC’s top six officials.
The Abaqulusi region is demanding the rescission of the announcement of Free State premier Ace Magashule as the party’s secretary-general pending the recounting of the 68 votes declared “special votes” and “thereafter a proper announcement be made”.
Should the complaint be resolved in the 68 delegates’ favour, the votes are likely to determine who becomes secretary-general between Magashule and former ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Senzo Mchunu, who lost out by just 24 votes in the hotly-contested elections.
They complain that their names were omitted from the voters’ roll without any explanation.
Like their KwaZulu-Natal counterparts, the Limpopo delegates maintain they are ANC members in good standing and were lawfully elected by their branches.
”We reiterate that our clients would prefer not to go to court and hereby give the ANC an opportunity to resolve the above, failing which, our clients instruct us to approach the high court on an urgent basis for intervention,” reads the letter of demand handed to the ruling party’s legal advisor Krish Naidoo at the Nasrec Expo Centre near Soweto.
Naidoo was served both the KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo delegates’ letters of demand.
The delegates, who are part of the 68 whose ballots were not counted told the ANC: ”The exclusion of our clients from participating and/or having their votes properly counted is in violation of their constitutional rights and their rights in terms of the ANC constitution”.
The party’s five-yearly conference, which is expected to end on Wednesday, elected Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as its new leader to replace President Jacob Zuma.
On Tuesday, the 12 Abaqulusi delegates also gave the ANC until 2 pm to resolve the dispute but their attorneys were unable to serve the letter of demand.
”It will be prudent if this matter gets resolved urgently by recounting the votes and our clients get the assurance in this regard,” said the KwaZulu-Natal delegates.