Mabuyane ’con­fi­dent’

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - By NOMFUNDO NONDZUBE

ANC provin­cial sec­re­tary Os­car Mabuyane is con­fi­dent that the party’s provin­cial con­fer­ence sched­uled for 27 to 30 Septem­ber 2017 will con­tinue, de­spite a court chal­lenge ques­tion­ing the stand­ing of its big­gest del­e­ga­tion.

Mean­while, lawyers who will be ar­gu­ing in the Mthatha High Court next Thurs­day for the out­come of the 2015 OR Tambo re­gional elec­tive con­fer­ence to be nul­li­fied have warned that go­ing ahead with the provin­cial con­fer­ence could con­tam­i­nate it and make it vul­ner­a­ble to lit­i­ga­tion.

ANC branch mem­ber in the party’s OR Tambo re­gion, Bandile Ntamo, in April brought an ap­pli­ca­tion in the Mthatha High Court for the out­come of the 2015 OR Tambo re­gional elec­tive con­fer­ence to be nul­li­fied. OR Tambo, with Mthatha at its core, is the ANC's sec­ond-largest re­gion af­ter KwaZulu-Na­tal’s eThek­wini. Around 70% of the del­e­gates from the East­ern Cape par­tic­i­pat­ing in the na­tional con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber will come from OR Tambo.

The court ap­pli­ca­tion sees Mthatha at­tor­neys and ad­min­is­tra­tors Mvuzo No­tyesi In­cor­po­rated – who rep­re­sented Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela in her case to win the Man­dela Home­stead in Qunu – chal­leng­ing the rul­ing party af­ter they were ap­proached by Ntamo. Ntamo is the first ap­pli­cant in a case launched in April by at­tor­neys Mpen­dulo Stoy­ile against the ANC for the nul­li­fi­ca­tion of the OR Tambo re­gional con­fer- ence held 16-18 Oc­to­ber 2015.

In court doc­u­ments Ntamo as­serts that the OR Tambo Re­gional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee was elected with ir­reg­u­larly se­lected del­e­gates from Ward 24 Mhlonto and Ward 8 Port St Johns.

This in­cluded the process lead­ing to the adop­tion of cre­den­tials in the con­fer­ence that re­sulted in the elec­tion of the OR Tambo REC. Ntamo seeks to have the 2015 con­fer­ence de­clared “un­law­ful, il­le­gal, un­con­sti­tu­tional and con­se­quently null and void”.

With a ques­tion mark still hang­ing over the cur­rent REC, Ntamo's lawyers say, al­low­ing them to par­tic­i­pate in the provin­cial con­fer­ence later this month could scup­per that process.

“In cir­cum­stances where the OR Tambo re­gional con­fer­ence is nul­li­fied and the elec­tion of the REC set aside, that would mean the up­com­ing provin­cial con­fer­ence it­self is con­tam­i­nated as im­proper del­e­gates would have par­tic­i­pated,” the lawyers ar­gue in a doc­u­ment ad­dressed to se­nior na­tional and provin­cial ANC lead­er­ship.

This would make the provin­cial con­fer­ence “vul­ner­a­ble to un­nec­es­sary lit­i­ga­tions and fur­ther ap­peals which could have been pre­vented at this early stage”.

This week Judge Jerome Mn­guni in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court ruled the ANC’S Novem­ber 2015 KwaZulu-Na­tal provin­cial elec­tive con­fer­ence null and void based on ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

No­tyesi states that at the time Ntamo ap­proached their of­fice for rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the mat­ter, the case was sched­uled for hear­ing on Thurs­day 12 Oc­to­ber 2017.

“On con­sul­ta­tions with Mr. Bandile Ntamo, it be­came clear to us that these pro­ceed­ings have a di­rect im­pact on the ANC in the East­ern Cape, there­fore the ap­pli­ca­tion should be fi­nalised be­fore the con­ven­ing of the provin­cial con­fer­ence,” said No­tyesi.

Mvuzo No­tyesi In­cor­po­rated wants the East­ern Cape con­fer­ence to be post­poned un­til the pro­ceed­ings un­der case 1693/2017 are fi­nalised or al­ter­na­tively, that the REC of the OR Tambo shall not send a del­e­ga­tion.

The mat­ter was launched in the Mthatha High Court un­der case num­ber 1693/2017 on Tues­day 18 April 2017. The court has agreed to bring the mat­ter for­ward and it is now set down for Thurs­day 21 Septem­ber.

Speak­ing to Gro­cott’s Mail this week, Mabuyane said the court mat­ter did not mean the provin­cial con­fer­ence would not hap­pen. “The provin­cial con­fer­ence sched­uled for 27 to 30 Septem­ber 2017 will con­tinue. We as the ANC are con­fi­dent that this con­fer­ence will take place,” said Mabuyane.

Mabuyane said the same thing had hap­pened in Man­gaung, Bloem­fontein, a few years back and it had not af­fected that con­fer­ence.

“RECs are in­vited to the con­fer­ence, but this does not give them vot­ing sta­tus,” he said.

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