High court dismisses last-minute court application to interdict ANC EC branches from conference | News24


ANC delegates from Eastern Cape inside the plenary during the Eastern Cape elective conference on 07 May 2022. (Kayleen Morgan, News24)

  • The ANC Eastern Cape provincial conference has become the latest ANC congress to face litigation. 
  • The province is holding its much-anticipated conference in East London. 
  • However, while the conference deals with a six hour delay, ANC officials were at the high court dealing with a last-minute bid to interdict the conference. 

The high court in East London has dismissed a last-minute bid to exclude some branches from participating in the ANC’s Eastern Cape provincial conference.

On Saturday night, Judge Justin Laing ruled that the case had not met the threshold for urgency. 

Liang questioned why the applicants had not raised the need for the disputes to be resolved ahead of the conference. He said the matter was “self-created” by the applicants. 

“The application is struck off the roll, and the applicants are liable for the costs,” Laing ruled. 

A group of ANC members had asked the court to interdict the participation of branches from the Dr WB Rubusana region because of unresolved membership manipulations. 

Despite their disputed status, these branches were allowed to participate in the provincial conference.  

The ANC branches noticed last year that certain branches had increased membership numbers which could not be explained.

A court application in April had successfully halted the Dr WB Rubusana region’s conference. 

The high court ruled the conference could not go ahead while the disputed status of the branches remained unresolved.  

Saturday’s last-minute court action followed legal threats from the disgruntled members. 

There were two legal letters sent on 4 and 7 May.  

Despite the unresolved manipulation issue, ANC Eastern Cape provincial coordinator Lulama Ngcukayitobi said the province’s leadership decided to allow the branches to participate.  

READ | ANC Eastern Cape branches with ‘questionable status’ given go-ahead to participate in conference

He said the ballots from these branches would be “quarantined” or set aside.  

These votes would be checked when counting commenced to see if they had any material effect on the electoral outcome, Ngcukayitobi said.  

The Chris Hani region also had disputed branches.  

Dr WB Rubusana had 40 participating branches, while Chris Hani had 97. 

The conference had 1 500 participating delegates, with 614 qualified branches attending. 

The last-minute attempt to litigate the conference may be seen differently by the opposing factions supporting Babalo Madikizela and Oscar Mabuyane.

Both are contesting for the chairperson position. 

Madikizela’s supporters had already raised questions about the delegates attending the conference in the morning’s proceedings. 

However, Mabuyane previously stated that branches that had raised concerns about the membership manipulation, were victims and should not be punished for raising the alarm.

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