Dis­puted ANC KZN con­fer­ence hits snag

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - BON­GANI HANS

AT­TEMPTS to re­solve the dis­puted ANC KwaZulu-Natal con­fer­ence have hit an­other snag af­ter the ANC pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship op­posed the mat­ter be­ing heard early next week at the high court in Pietermaritzburg.

The court was sup­posed to hear next week Tues­day why the lead­er­ship had not filed pa­pers in re­sponse to an ap­pli­ca­tion to have them re­moved from of­fice and an­other con­fer­ence held.

The ag­grieved party’s lawyer, Al­pha Zwane, said both par­ties had agreed that the lead­er­ship, which is the re­spon­dent in the nul­li­fi­ca­tion mat­ter, had late last year agreed to go to court next week, but the lead­er­ship had since som­er­saulted.

“They (ANC lead­er­ship) felt that be­tween De­cem­ber 15 and Jan­uary 16 there are no court dates for fil­ing of doc­u­ments so you can­not file the court doc­u­ments dur­ing that pe­riod,” said Zwane.

The ANC could not file the re­spond­ing pa­pers to the nul­li­fi­ca­tion ap­pli­ca­tion, which was filed in June, be­cause it was de­mand­ing that the ap­pli­ca­tion should pro­vide it with all doc­u­ments that the ap­pli­cants would use as ev­i­dence dur­ing the ac­tual pro­ceed­ings.

“The ap­pli­cants are say­ing ‘we have given you all the doc­u­ments you want’.

“The re­spon­dents are say­ing ‘we are not happy with the doc­u­ments you have given us, we are now go­ing to ask the court com­pel ap­pli­cants to de­liver those pa­pers’,” said Zwane.

The ap­pli­cants, mem­bers of the ANC who lost the elec­tion, want the court to nul­lify the con­fer­ence, which was held in Pietermaritzburg in 2015 and elected Sihle Zikalala as the pro­vin­cial chair­man against his pre­de­ces­sor Senzo Mchunu.

Zwane said af­ter the ANC lead­er­ship had re­peat­edly failed to file the re­spond­ing pa­pers the court post­poned the case “in­def­i­nitely” and it was agreed that the ANC lead­ers should tell the court on Jan­uary 17 why it could not re­spond.

He said both par­ties would now se­cure a meet­ing with KwaZulu-Natal Judge Pres­i­dent Ach­mat Jap­pie or any avail­able se­nior judge to de­cide on a new date for the ANC to pro­vide its ex­pla­na­tion.

Zwane said he was con­fi­dent that the ap­pli­cants had a prospect of win­ning the case against the lead­er­ship.

An ag­grieved ANC mem­ber, who asked to re­main anony­mous, said it was pos­si­ble for them to win the case since it hap­pened in Free State in 2014, where the Con­sti­tu­tional Court nul­li­fied the pro­vin­cial con­fer­ence.

An­other mem­ber of the group said if the ap­pli­ca­tion fails or the case drags be­yond the ANC na­tional con­fer­ence they would rely on the new lead­er­ship un­der deputy pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, if he be­comes pres­i­dent, to nul­lify the KwaZulu-Natal con­fer­ence.

At­tempts to con­tact the ANC in KZN or its lawyers were un­suc­cess­ful.

Zwane con­fi­dent the ap­pli­cants can win the case

PIC­TURE: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO

FIRM PROM­ISES: Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma ad­dresses sup­port­ers at Or­lando Sta­dium dur­ing the ANC’s 105th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion.

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