Regrettable that ANC's democracy is tested in the courts - Stalwarts

'It is incredulous that the largest political party in SA should appear to be in such a state of disarray'

Regrettable that ANC's democracy is tested in the courts - ANC stalwarts

18 September 2017

Johannesburg - ANC stalwarts have described the multiple instances of members of the party facing off in court as a sad reflection of the state of the organisation. The more than 100 veterans and stalwarts of the ANC said in a statement on Monday that the party should have never been placed in a situation where it resolves its issues in the courts.

"It is incredulous that the largest political party in South Africa should appear to be in such a state of disarray that members have to face each other in the courts," read the statement.

Last week, the High Court in Pietermaritzburg ruled that the 2015 KwaZulu-Natal provincial congress was illegitimate and should be nullified.

A group of disgruntled comrades had accused the provincial executive of rigging the elective conference. At least two interdicts have been granted against the North West provincial congress. Members in the platinum-rich province had raised concerns over parallel branches.

The ANC veterans acknowledged that those turning to the courts seeking clarity on ANC matters would come in for criticism.

No longer an underground liberation movement "Some would want to argue judicial overreach, and that it is only a minority of members who want to abuse our judicial system, they are wrong," read the statement, titled "For the Sake of Our Future".

The veterans also argued that those dragging the party to the courts were not in the minority, again citing KwaZulu-Natal as an example. The former leaders said the party's problems stemmed from the manipulation of processes, which it described as becoming "endemic in many parts of the country".

The veterans failed to hold a consultative conference ahead of the June policy conference after the idea was rejected by several other structures.

"The overwhelming majority of members of the ANC at all levels of our organisation are honest and committed to the development of our country. They must be at the forefront of actively condemning all illegal activities, and ensuring there is open and transparent action against those who have brought the party into disrepute," said the stalwarts.

The veterans, who are still calling for a consultative conference, reminded the party that it was no longer working underground as a liberation movement but was instead running a constitutional democracy.