DISCORD: A group of ANC members protest at the party’s offices in Durban yesterday, demanding equal representation in the newly elected provincial task team. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal will pursue all the political options to resolve the stalemate in the province, with legal action the last resort, National Executive Committee (NEC) member Nocawe Mafu says.

Two weeks ago, the ANC KwaZulu-Natal elective conference was brought to a halt by an interdict obtained from the High Court in Pietermaritzburg by a group of discontented party members.

Mafu, who is the ANC NEC member deployed to KwaZulu-Natal, and the party’s deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, (who is in the province again this weekend) have been working around the clock to find a solution to the prevailing political impasse.

The discord has delayed the party’s campaign initiatives for the elections scheduled for next year.

“The national dispute resolutions team that deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte leads has been in the province since Thursday to try to deal with the outstanding issues.

“We’re really optimistic that we have dealt with everything that needs to be dealt with,” Mafu said.

She said they were hopeful the party, including the members who got the interdict, could find a political solution and that the applicants would withdraw the case.

“If the parties that took us to court withdraw the case we would be pleased.

“But if the case continues we have to abide by the court process and respond to it.

“We’re hoping that when July 7 arrives, we won’t need to file affidavits, because we would have spoken to the people affected,” Mafu said.

The ANC is battling with political problems in various provinces, and taking the legal route is still the most popular move, for members who have grievances.

Most recently, the ANC in Limpopo was served with court papers from disgruntled members, in a bid to stop the elective conference.

Last week, the ANC issued a statement at the conclusion of an NEC meeting in Irene calling for party members to resolve problems or disputes internally before going to the courts.

It asked for “responsible leadership structures and collectives at all levels to abide by the letter and spirit of the ANC constitution in how they oversee and run organisational processes and give ANC members the space to be heard and raise their grievances and complaints.

The party “urges members to utilise all internal processes”, the statement read.

In the Eastern Cape, a group of ANC members approached the High Court in Johannesburg, in a bid to enforce a report compiled by a team led by NEC member Sbu Ndebele, that probed the outcome of last year’s provincial elective conference.

Ndebele’s report recommended the suspension of the PEC elected at the conference and the appointment of an interim structure.

Mafu said the ANC was clear as a collective that they could not run election campaigns effectively if they did not have elected provincial structures to take control of these campaigns.

“If you’re not an elected structure, people can always say, ‘who are you? We have not elected you.

“When the structure is elected at least they have (the requisite) authority.

“It is very important for the ANC to have an elected structure in place so that we can run a credible and strong campaign in KwaZulu-Natal.

“This will assist in ensuring that the ANC emerges victorious in the upcoming national elections,” Mafu added.

Sunday Independent