Gauteng African National Congress David Makhura. Picture: @GautengANC/Twitter

Pretoria - Newly-elected chairman of the Gauteng African National Congress David Makhura on Sunday told conference delegates to stop taking the party to court.

''Please don’t go to court on political and organisational matters. We respect the courts... if you take us to court, we shall go there and win because we run the issues of organisation according to the [ANC] constitution,'' he said to loud applause as he closed the conference. 

''Let us not allow the enemies of the ANC and our revolution to fund your court actions, whose objective is to keep the ANC busy in courts, not busy on the ground serving the people.''

He assured delegates that the party would soon identify who funded court cases launched by members against the ANC. 

Earlier, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule also berated the court action. 

''A member of the ANC can not be the same as a member of the opposition [party] in his or her conduct, and the posture of his or her theoretical and ideological understanding. What's important is how we derive a common programme from the branch level up, to resolve the challenges facing our society. The leadership role of our structures is not there for our selfish interests, but to serve at the best interest of the overwhelming majority of our people,'' said Magashule.

The deeply divided governing party has had to deal with disgruntled members who are dissatisfied with conference outcomes. In Gauteng, a court action by a group of members in Ekurhuleni almost derailed the provincial conference when they applied to the high court for an urgent interdict to halt the conference. The court bid failed on the eve of the conference when Judge Edwin Molahlehi dismissed the application for lack of urgency.

Makhura urged members to to do away with "lobby groups'' and to instead  work towards uniting the party.

''Comrades, all lobby groups must dissolve with immediate effect. If there are comrades who leave this conference and continue to meet and discuss the regional conferences and provincial conference... that shall be out of order.''

''I want to guarantee you that no one shall be marginalised or victimised for having exercised his or her democratic right to support a particular leader in the branch, region or province,'' he said.

African News Agency/ANA