ANC FState to hold outstanding BGMs, then conference

PEC notes court ruling with deep concern, but says it will abide by it

ANC Free State to hold provincial congress next week, after BGM court ruling

30 November 2017

Johannesburg – The ANC in the Free State has resolved to hold all outstanding branch general meetings (BGMs) this weekend, which it had initially set aside for its provincial congress.

This comes after the High Court in Bloemfontein ruled that the provincial congress should not take place and that several BGMs across four regions were "irregular, unlawful, unconstitutional and in breach of the ANC constitution".

Disgruntled members of the party in the Free State had taken their provincial executive committee (PEC) to court, claiming that the BGM processes leading up to the ANC’s national elective conference were flawed.

The province also held a provincial general conference (PGC) on Tuesday, notifying members of the event mostly via SMS just hours before it took place.

The PEC has insisted that the court matter had nothing to do with the PGC.

In a statement released on Thursday, the PEC said it noted the court's decision with "deep concern", but added that it would respect and abide by the verdict handed down on Wednesday.

"The provincial executive committee has reordered that the 29 branches, mentioned in the court ruling of November 29, be taken through and observe the guidelines of the ANC," provincial spokesperson Thabo Meeko said in a statement.

'Ill-disciplined conduct'

He asked all members of the party to observe the ANC constitution and guidelines for BGMs.

"[They must] ensure that there is no violent conduct in those meetings. All branches affected would be consulted to ensure they prepare adequately without delays," said Meeko.

Meeko said the provincial congress would take place between December 6 and 8.

The Free State provincial secretary also hit out at the province’s deputy chairperson, Thabo Manyoni, who did not participate in this week’s "surprise" PGC.

Manyoni, who boycotted the event, described it as a "sham".

Some in the province have already written letters to the secretary general’s office to complain, while others have threatened to take the province to the courts again.

"The PEC notes with concern the ill-disciplined conduct of the provincial deputy chairperson... in flouting the principles of the ANC of democratic centralism," said Meeko.

Meeko described the comments Manyoni had made to the media as "unfortunate utterances".