ANC NEC in two minds over rul­ing

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - SAMKELO MT­SHALI

THE ANC na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee’s ap­par­ent dither­ing on whether or not to ap­peal last month’s Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court’s judg­ment, which deemed the 2015 KwaZu­luNatal elec­tive con­fer­ence un­law­ful, is be­ing de­scribed as a cri­sis.

The NEC held a spe­cial meet­ing in Pre­to­ria on Fri­day, with dis­cus­sions on whether or not to ap­peal the rul­ing at the top of the agenda.

ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe said the party would make a de­ci­sion in three days’ time, so that is now ex­pected on Tues­day.

Dis­sent­ing ANC branches went to court aim­ing to get the party’s 2015 pro­vin­cial elec­tive con­fer­ence, which they claim was rigged, de­clared in­valid.

At the time, Sihle Zikalala beat Senzo Mchunu, who was ANC KZN chair­per­son and pro­vin­cial pre­mier.

Con­sti­tu­tional law ex­pert Pro­fes­sor Shadrack Gutto said the ANC did not have a co­her­ent view from the sec­re­tary-gen­eral’s of­fice, the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (PEC) or even the NEC.

“There is a se­ri­ous cri­sis of gov­er­nance within the party and I think that needs to be ad­dressed.

“I don’t know how, but if they don’t the ANC is go­ing to suf­fer se­ri­ously in the 2019 na­tional elec­tions,” he warned.

Gutto added that ap­peal­ing the judg­ment would have a se­ri­ous im­pact on the De­cem­ber con­fer­ence.

“Time is run­ning out for them to be able to re­view that judg­ment or to send it into ap­peal and get a rul­ing be­fore De­cem­ber.

“As­sum­ing that they suc­ceed, then we will wait to see what the ap­peal court will in­di­cate.

“But if the ap­peal court rules in favour of go­ing ahead with what it wants to do, we will have to see be­cause even that will take place only much later,” said Gutto.

He said if the ap­peal court af­firms the high court de­ci­sion, the ANC would be in a co­nun­drum and the party would need to cor­rect the prob­lems it was fac­ing be­fore 2019.

An­other po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst, Pro­fes­sor Su­san Booy­sen, said the NEC might be tak­ing its time mak­ing a de­ci­sion be­cause KZN is a highly con­tested area and there was am­bi­gu­ity be­tween the au­thor­ity of the pro­vin­cial and na­tional body, de­spite the NEC be­ing the high­est de­ci­sion-mak­ing body.

“They have to main­tain the peace… There’s a lot of at­tempted rec­on­cil­i­a­tion that they’re try­ing to map out.

“They are also look­ing at the de­tails of the le­gal as­pects, as it is a pretty se­ri­ous le­gal is­sue and they would have to make sure they don’t throw away time and re­sources by ap­peal­ing,” said Booy­sen.

It could be “very con­tro­ver­sial” if the PEC ap­pealed and then lost as they would burn a lot of bridges, she added.

An­other po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst, Im­raan Buc­cus, said the dy­nam­ics in the prov­ince crit­i­cally in­formed how the na­tional dy­nam­ics played out, par­tic­u­larly in the lead-up to De­cem­ber.

“I think it (the NEC’s awaited de­ci­sion) re­quires a great deal of de­lib­er­a­tion and there prob­a­bly is go­ing to be a se­ri­ous at­tempt by the NEC to reach a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion rather than go the route of ap­peal­ing the court’s de­ci­sion.

“The NEC is tak­ing a longer time in or­der to de­lib­er­ate more and I would think that they would be mov­ing to­wards seek­ing a po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion like what was al­luded to last week,” he said.

Buc­cus doubted the NEC would go the ap­peal route be­cause the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of that would be a lot more dif­fi­cult to deal with.

The po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion would be to form a pro­vin­cial task team with the Senzo Mchunu and Sihle Zikalala camps ac­com­mo­dated in a power-shar­ing deal.

“The counter-ar­gu­ment from the Zikalala fac­tion could be that you chose to go to court when we said let’s come to­gether and talk about this: Why should we not go the le­gal route in terms of the ap­peal?”

‘The NEC must take charge of the chal­lenges fac­ing the move­ment’

Buc­cus said.

On Fri­day, Man­tashe said the party ac­cepted the court’s judg­ment, but the NEC needed to fur­ther con­sult le­gal coun­sel to gain clar­ity on rule 17.2.1 of the ANC con­sti­tu­tion.

This would de­ter­mine if they would ap­peal or not.

Man­tashe said the NEC had tasked the na­tional work­ing com­mit­tee with es­tab­lish­ing a strong, in­clu­sive and uni­fy­ing pro­vin­cial task team which would be given the job of pre­par­ing for a pro­vin­cial con­fer­ence in KZN, which had to take place within nine months.

“The NEC does not be­lieve that the ANC should con­tinue to give rea­sons to the court to in­ter­vene in mat­ters of the or­gan­i­sa­tion which should be man­aged po­lit­i­cally by the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“The NEC must take charge of the chal­lenges fac­ing the move­ment and deal with them de­ci­sively,” Man­tashe said.

Cur­rent ANC KZN sec­re­tary Su­per Zuma said they re­spected the NEC’s stance.

“If there is a prospect of suc­cess, then we will launch an ap­peal, and if there is no prospect of suc­cess in an ap­peal, a pro­vin­cial task team will be put in place,” said Zuma.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.