Bulky lever arch files full of documents were handed in to the Northern Cape High Court as evidence, along with a 600-page affidavit, where court papers have been addressed to the ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC), ANC provincial chairperson Zamani Saul, the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.
Aggrieved ANC members, wearing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma T-shirts, stated that they were not afraid of being purged for being in defiance of the ANC PEC, which is backing ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa in the upcoming national elective conference.
Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas declined her nomination during the provincial elective conference that was held in Colesberg in May, which saw Saul being elected as ANC provincial chairperson.
ANC member Nombulelo Modise, who is one of the applicants in the case, stated that no one was above the ANC and that they wanted justice to be served.
“How do Gwede and Zamani live with themselves? On numerous occasions we approached Mantashe, where time and time again our concerns were dismissed,” said Modise.
“We have the right to be given a fair hearing.They are not killing us, they are merely destroying the party. Will they be campaigning door to door, as 2019 is approaching? We are accustomed to working on empty stomachs.”
ANC member and court applicant Eric Khotseng said that it was to their advantage that the leadership structures had dismissed them.
“The conference was fraudulent, they broke every rule in the book. They want to brush us all with the same brush as being disgruntled members. They have put themselves on the back foot by dismissing us.
“We have exhausted all internal processes. We want to assure all members of the ANC that the decision to go to court was not taken lightly. In the court documents we prove the extent to which we have appealed to the highest structures of the ANC to hear us, but to no avail,” said Khotseng.
He stated that internal processes and membership lists had been cloned and manipulated.
“Members who did not even appear on the database were elected as the top six officials. Thousands of members in good standing were excluded from participating in the provincial elective conference. We have thousands of documents that we will present at the opportune moment to the court to prove the extent and brazenness of gatekeeping.”
Khotseng added that the court application was not intended to disrupt either the regional conference or the national elective conference.
“It is time that the ANC self-corrects and we believe that at this juncture the court is our last hope. We expect the court to hear arguments in February or March next year. We hope that there will be no delays in holding the national elective conference in December.”
He stated that they had up to 5 000 co-signatories, from across the regions of the Province, supporting their cause,.
“They have already started purging. If they purge me, they will have to purge between 3 000 to 5 000 ANC members. They have suspended the regional chairperson, Dr Thapelo Dithebe. It boggles the mind that he will be removed anyway at the upcoming regional conference.”
Khotseng said that the two conflicting audit reports that were released at the time of the provincial elective conference, which were approved by Mantashe, would be the “straw that would break the camel’s back”.
“The verification process was flawed because there was cloning of 6 00 members across 12 branches over several sub-regions in the ZF Mgcawu region. The verification process failed to take into account the exclusion or the removal of legitimate members from across the Province.
“Our attorney went on to point out that these discrepancies would have an impact on the outcome of the conference and requested, in the light thereof, that the conference be postponed.”
He added that 22 PEC members petitioned the national office as a result of the reluctance of the PEC to deal with disputes.
Khotseng stated that members were subjected to intimidation and acts of thuggery in the lead up to the conference.
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