ANC weighs its options on KwaZulu-Natal provincial structure

The ANC says it will seek legal advice as it decides whether or not to uphold a decision by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) to appeal a high court ruling that declared its constitution unlawful.

At a special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held in Centurion on Friday the party decided that it would use the next three days to seek legal advice before announcing whether or not to appeal the current PEC.

Earlier this month, the Pietermaritzburg High Court found that decision taken at the 2015 conference which saw former chairperson Senzo Mchunu replaced by Sihle Zikalala was invalid and left it up to the ANC to decide a course of action.

The decision to take legal counsel was taken at a special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held in Centurion today.

“The NEC has full confidence in the judiciary and accepts the judgment of the full bench of the Pietermaritzburg High Court in the matter “Dube and Others v Zikalala and Others” in relation to the 2015 ANC KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Conference,” said secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

“NEC however felt there was a need for further consultation with legal counsel to gain greater clarity on the decision of the court as it deals with Rule 17(2)(1) of the ANC Constitution and further engage the possibility of success in appealing the judgement”.

However in a confusing statement, the ANC appeared to have made preliminary decision to dissolve the structure.

“Within 3 days we must appreciate whether this decision or not,” Mantashe said.
“But for all intents and purposes then the PEC is going to be dissolved”.

The possibility of dissolution saw the NEC resolve to have a provincial task team established that would assist with the organizing of a unified, reconstituted elective conference in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mantashe said while the ANC’s constitution allowed a period of up 9 months for the conference to be held, it wanted the conference to be held as soon as possible.

“There is urgency on the part of the ANC to go to a [provincial] conference as soon as possible, have a PEC that is legitimate in place. To ensure that that process is overseen by a team that is not biased and tries to pull the various interest together,” Mantashe said.

He dismissed claims that the situation in KwaZulu-Natal would affect the ANC’s ability to hold its national elective conference in December, saying that branch delegations would remain unaffected by issues happening at a provincial level.

So far membership audits had been completed in 8 of the 9 provinces, with the Eastern Cape being the only one outstanding.

Mantashe said branches were now free to hold their Branch General Meetings (BGM) to nominate candidates for election and consolidate their positions on policy matters. 

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