Thursday, 07 April 2022 19:42

ANC regional conference in the Eastern Cape won't go ahead as planned.

By Jason Felix.

@MichelBega.

A group of ANC members in the Eastern Cape stopped a regional elective congress from going ahead, which could have a dire impact on the provincial congress.

Ondela Sokomani, Anelisa Songqumase, Fundiswa Sizani, Lusapho Coto and Xolani Lobese approached the East London High Court to interdict the Dr WB Rubusana regional conference from going ahead on Friday.

The group made allegations of membership manipulation and procedural errors in the run-up to the conference.

In his founding affidavit, Sokomani said: "We contend that the decision of the Eastern Cape provincial executive committee to dissolve the BECs was procedurally unfair and, therefore, unlawful because the branches and regions were not, as contemplated in the ANC Constitution, notified of the impending decision and nor were they consulted with prior thereto."

Furthermore, he argued that the respective branches were not given proper reasons, by the PEC, why it became "necessary" to dissolve or disband the PEC.

He said: In relation to the substantive legality of the decision of the PEC to dissolve the respective BEC, we contend that the PEC failed to comply with the requirements in Rule 12.2.4 of the ANC Constitution, which specifies that the 'PEC may suspend or dissolve a BEC where necessary'.

The Dr WB Rubusana regional conference was scheduled for this weekend.

Sokomani said it was a basic requirement that delegates participating in gatherings should have been elected at properly-constituted branch general meetings.

"If the persons who participate at such a conference as delegates have not been elected at properly-constituted branch general meetings or, conversely, if delegates who have been elected at properly-constituted branch general meetings are denied such participation in a conference, it stands to reason that any decision to hold such a conference is invalid and that the outcomes of such a conference are equally invalid, null and void.

"The conduct of the alleged branch task teams is seriously embarrassing and undermines democracy and political freedom, and a breach of the contractual provisions between the members of the first respondent and its members," he said.

Prior to the judgment, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe had said that ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, acting on behalf of the secretary general's office, had directed the Dr WB Rubusana and Sarah Bartman regions not to proceed with their pending conferences.

"The latest judgment once more affirms the rigorousness of the new centralised membership system and further vindicates the decision of the SGO suspending the convening of the regional conferences, pending the resolution of outstanding disputes.

"The current disputes include, among others, allegations of membership manipulation, leading to the inflation of membership numbers in certain branches.

"The ANC will uphold the decision of the court and cure all procedural violations as identified. We will ensure that the legitimacy of our branches is restored and protected," he said.