More ANC legal woes as court application brought to dissolve Free State PEC
11 October 2017
Bloemfontein – The ANC is facing yet another court battle as two Free State members have made an urgent application to the Bloemfontein High Court to have the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) dissolved and chairperson Ace Magashule removed.
In the court application, which News24 has obtained, ANC members Mcebisi Bokwa and Lonwabo Dyi say that the PEC's term to hold office expired on May 12.
"They therefore no longer hold office and cannot perform any acts in their capacity as members of the PEC. They are still less entitled to act as PEC at present. They simply do not have the power or authority to do so," an affidavits states.
The members are asking for the National Executive Committee (NEC) to appoint an interim structure until the province's elective conference which will take place from December 1-3.
Dyi and Bokwa say Magashule and his PEC continue to act as if they still hold office. They say that any decisions taken by the PEC are "void, irregular and directly contrary to and in blatant breach of the provisions of the [ANC] constitution".
The effect of the PEC holding office illegitimately has far-reaching consequences, they say.
This would mean contracts entered into by treasurer Mosebenzi Zwane are considered vitiated because of a lack of authority, and that Magashule and his secretary William Bulwane are not entitled to hold any position in the NEC.
"The ANC and NEC have not taken any steps to prevent the Free State PEC or its members from continuing to act as PEC… I respectfully submit that this application is urgent. The second to 35th respondents [have] shown that they are intent to continue acting in flagrant breach of the [ANC] constitution."
In response, ANC Free State spokesperson Thabo Meeko told News24 that the PEC was legitimate according to the law, as well as the ANC constitution. He said the province was ordered by the courts to hold its elective conference in December.
"The reality is that we have unprincipled…ANC comrades who are exploiting the grey area of the [ANC] constitution. There [has] been another outcome in court for the PEC to sit in December. We have not seen these papers except that we are proceeding with our elective conference," he said.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said he was allergic to members who wanted to run to the courts instead of dealing with issues internally.
"The Free State is going to a conference and they were allowed by the courts. Now we have some who want a further demand to have the PEC dissolved. It’s complete abuse," he said.
The ANC has been plagued by court battles as the party gears for its national elective conference in December.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the PEC is appealing a judgment that found their election illegitimate.
The incoming PEC in the Eastern Cape was taken to court to have its elective conference interdicted, but that matter was struck off the role.
Newly-elected Eastern Cape chair Oscar Mabuyane said they expected some branch members to challenge the legitimacy of the conference.
In the Northern Cape, disgruntled ANC members have threatened legal action to nullify May's elective conference and halt the province's regional conferences, which are scheduled for November this year.