Le­gal­ity of 2015 O R Tambo re­gion elec­tion un­der fire

Daily Dispatch - - News - By LULAMILE FENI

ACOURT move to block the ANC’s provin­cial elec­tive con­fer­ence later this month is be­ing threat­ened by the lawyers of two O R Tambo ANC mem­bers.

The threat came af­ter the Mthatha High Court post­poned its hear­ing into a chal­lenge by Bandile Ntamo and Mlan­deli Nd­abetha of the le­gal­ity of the 2015 O R Tambo re­gional elec­tive con­fer­ence in which cur­rent chair­man Xo­lile Nkom­pela won by two votes against Than­dek­ile Sabisa.

The two filed their court chal­lenge in April but the ANC failed to sub­mit an an­swer­ing af­fi­davit.

Now, how­ever, that mat­ter is threat­en­ing to stall the al­ready de­layed provin­cial con­fer­ence, and the ANC asked the court yes­ter­day for an op­por­tu­nity to ap­ply for leave of con­do­na­tion for the late fil­ing of an an­swer­ing af­fi­davit.

Ntamo and Nd­abetha’s coun­sels, ad­vo­cate Phil Zilwa SC, and ad­vo­cate Du­misa Nt­se­beza SC, were at pains yes­ter­day to con­vince pre­sid­ing judge Sytze Alkema not to grant leave for the ap­pli­ca­tion, stat­ing that the ANC had waited for more than five months be­fore fil­ing an an­swer­ing af­fi­davit.

The two se­nior coun­sels saw the ANC’s move as a de­lay­ing tac­tic as the ap­pli­cants have asked for the mat­ter to be heard and fi­nalised be­fore the provin­cial con­fer­ence sits next week.

The ANC’s le­gal team was led by ad­vo­cate Richard Quinn, SC.

Ad­dress­ing the me­dia af­ter the court hear­ing, Ntamo’s in­struct­ing at­tor­ney Mvuzo No­tyesi said his new in­struc­tions were to ap­proach the high court and re­quest it to pre­vent the provin­cial con­fer­ence from sit­ting pend­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of their case.

“The court pro­ceed­ings have a bear­ing on the up­com­ing con­fer­ences of the ANC start­ing from the prov­ince.

“I can there­fore con­firm to you that start­ing from Mon­day we will be launch­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion to in­ter­dict the provin­cial con­fer­ence it­self pend­ing the con­clu­sion of these pro­ceed­ings. Those are the in­struc­tions I have now,” No­tyesi said.

He said that they would be launch­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion as they see that pro­ceed­ings are be­ing de­layed.

“If these cur­rent pro­ceed­ings are not con­cluded now, the chances are that those REC [re­gional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee] mem­bers whose sta­tus is be­ing ques­tioned will be ac­cred­ited as del­e­gates in the provin­cial con­fer­ence, and they are not sup­posed to be un­til their sta­tus is clar­i­fied,” said No­tyesi.

Al­ter­na­tively, the OR Tambo re­gional ex­ec­u­tive must all forego the provin­cial con­fer­ence, he said.

ANC provin­cial sec­re­tary Os­car Mabuyane, who also at­tended the court hear­ing yes­ter­day, said he had heard that some peo­ple were look­ing at in­ter­dict­ing the provin­cial con­fer­ence but he be­lieved they didn’t have a leg to stand on.

“This is a con­fer­ence of ANC branches, and it will go ahead as planned. This is not a con­fer­ence of the re­gional ex­ec­u­tive, but of the branches. From the REC there will be only two or three del­e­gates,” he said.

Quinn ear­lier raised an ob­jec­tion call­ing for a join­der (union) of all the ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers of the ANC.

But Judge Alkema ruled against that, say­ing all the ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers were ANC mem­bers and the re­spon­dent was the ANC.

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