KZN rul­ing boosts Cyril

● An­a­lyst says a di­vided prov­ince will weaken NDZ’s push for pres­i­dency ● Los­ing fac­tion hints at ap­peal­ing judg­ment

Sowetan - - Front Page - By Nathi Oli­fant and Matthew Sa­vides

Lawyers rep­re­sent­ing the win­ning fac­tion of the ANC in KwaZulu-Na­tal are ready to ap­ply for an en­force­ment or­der should the pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship de­cide to ap­peal.

Fol­low­ing the blow to the pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship un­der Sihle Zikalala, the ‘losers’ were set to meet last night to look at the judg­ment and talk was they plan to ap­peal it.

Judge Jerome Mn­guni yes­ter­day ruled that the ANC’s 2015 pro­vin­cial elec­tive con­fer­ence was un­law­ful.

The rul­ing ren­ders the elec­tion of the party’s top five and 25 mem­bers of the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee null and void – ef­fec­tively over­turn­ing their elec­tion and leav­ing the party rud­der­less.

Sowe­tan es­tab­lished that the lawyers rep­re­sent­ing the win­ning fac­tion would push for Zikalala and his ex­ec­u­tive in the ANC to be out of of­fice while they ap­peal.

Should they suc­ceed, the move will force the ANC at na­tional level to ap­point an in­terim struc­ture.

While the so-called “ANC rebels” cel­e­brated out­side the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court fol­low­ing their vic­tory, another man, sev­eral hun­dred kilo­me­ters away, would have been qui­etly smil­ing to him­self.

That man is pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Cyril Ramaphosa, who could emerge the un­likely ben­e­fi­ciary of yes­ter­day’s rul­ing which, ef­fec­tively, ren­ders the ANC in KwaZulu-Na­tal lead­er­less and in dis­ar­ray.

And with the prov­ince among the big­gest back­ers of Ramaphosa’s strong­est ri­val for the party’s top job, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, any in­sta­bil­ity in the prov­ince could prove de­ci­sive.

This is the view of KwaZu­luNatal po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst and re­searcher Tha­bani Khu­malo.

The rul­ing came af­ter com­plaints were lodged by a fac­tion sup­port­ing ousted chair­man and for­mer pre­mier Senzo Mchunu who lost to Zikalala in a bruis­ing bat­tle.

The ap­pli­ca­tion was led by Vry­heid coun­cil­lor Lawrence Dube and four other ANC mem­bers rep­re­sent­ing 43 branches. They went to court in July last year ask­ing for a re­run of the elec­tion, cit­ing var­i­ous ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

The KwaZulu-Na­tal ANC said it was study­ing the judg­ment and was also con­sid­er­ing an ap­peal.

The party’s youth and women’s leagues have called a press con­fer­ence this morn­ing.

Khuma lo said that with more and more ANC branches be­gin­ning to back Ramaphosa, the court’s de­ci­sion – which could re­sult in fewer del­e­gates from KwaZulu-Na­tal at the De­cem­ber con­fer­ence – throws the pres­i­den­tial race wide open.

But, he said, this was also a de­ci­sion that threat­ens to widen al­ready clear frac­tures within the party and will weaken it in De­cem­ber.

Ramaphosa could be the one who ben­e­fits from this.

“What this out­come does is add to the ac­ri­mo­nious re­la­tions that al­ready ex­ist be­tween those who sup­port Mchunu and those who sup­port Zikalala.

“For Cyril, this has boosted the morale of his sup­port­ers in KwaZulu-Na­tal. You will now likely see many oth­ers com­ing out in sup­port of his cam- paign,” said Khu­malo.

“This has clearly sent a loud mes­sage. Un­like the Free State, KwaZulu-Na­tal will not go to the elec­tive con­fer­ence with an in­flu­en­tial voice.”

But KwaZulu-Na­tal ANC spokesman, Mdu­miseni Ntuli, said it was not over for the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, of which he is a mem­ber. They were ex­pected to meet later yes­ter­day.

“We will dis­cuss this out­come and we will con­sult with the NEC to de­ter­mine our next course of ac­tion.”

Hint­ing at an ap­peal, he added: “It’s very pos­si­ble that another layer of our courts will ar­rive at a dif­fer­ent de­ci­sion.”

How­ever, de­spite the like­li­hood of an ap­peal, Ntuli said the party would re­con­vene the con­fer­ence if in­structed to do so by the NEC.

‘ ‘ Many oth­ers will come out in sup­port of his cam­paign

KHAYA NG­WENYA

Senzo Mchunu’s sup­port­ers out­side the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court fol­low­ing the out­come of the court case.

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