East London - A court bid by disgruntled Eastern Cape African National Congress members to challenge the outcome of this weekend's provincial conference in East London has failed, newly elected ANC Eastern Cape secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi said on Sunday.
Judgment in the East London High Court was reserved for Monday morning after an application for an urgent interdict by Eastern Cape lawyer Mvuzo Notyesi was heard on Sunday.
Ngcukaitobi said the judgment would be "an academic exercise" because the conference had been concluded. "The key fundamental issue is that the applicant wanted to interdict the conference and the conference comes to an end today [Sunday]. "Therefore, if the judgment is reserved for tomorrow [Monday] that means the case has already been lost by the applicant," he said.
The case was part of a "fishing expedition" by those who wanted the conference to be postponed. Both Ngcukaitobi and newly elected provincial chairman Oscar Mabuyane described Notyesi as "notorious about bringing court cases against ANC".
"He has brought 14 court applications against us but he has lost them all," said Ngcukaitobi. Mabuyane said Notyesi's plans to interdict the conference were "known for weeks".
The conference at the East London International Convention Centre was marred by lengthy delays in the verification of delegates process and by violence. The conference descended into chaos on Saturday night and at least eight delegates were injured and hospitalised when ANC members turned on each other over disagreements about the adoption of delegates' credentials. Chairs and other objects were thrown around in the venue.
Former Eastern Cape secretary Mabuyane was elected provincial chairman, defeating outgoing chairman Phumulo Masualle with 931 votes to seven. Mlungisi Mvoko was elected deputy provincial chairman with 935 votes. Ngcukaitobi was elected secretary with Helen Sauls-August his deputy secretary. Babalo Madikizela was elected provincial treasurer, rounding off the top five leadership positions.