It is back to the drawing board for the regional task team of the ANC at Dr WB Rubusana region [Buffalo City metro] in the Eastern Cape following a successful court interdict against its regional conference that was scheduled to start on Friday and end on Sunday.
A disgruntled group of five ANC members lodged an urgent interdict with the East London High Court against the regional conference citing irregular party branch general meetings (BGM) and branch biennial general meetings (BBGM) that were held between February and March.
Among their grievances were the branch meetings that showed deceased party members and a member who is in jail who were recorded to have been participants in meetings.
ANC member in the region Ondela Sokomani, who is among the group that took the party to court, said he was recorded to have been in attendance in a BGM when he was in fact absent.
The group wanted the high court to nullify all the BGMs and BBGMs held during this period and for the ANC to reconvene these meetings.
Judge Nozuko Mjali, who presided over the urgent matter, ruled in favour of the applicants in granting the court interdict and ordered the regional task team and the provincial task team of the ANC in the province to pay the costs.
Following the successful court outcome, Sokomani said the interdict gives the ANC an opportunity to do the right thing and produce branch meetings that are credible, free from intimidation and manipulation of the systems.
Sokomani said: “The point is not to derail the ANC from progressing as an organisation, but the point is to ensure that we always operate guided by the principles of democracy as enshrined in the ANC constitution, and policies which allow for the differences of views and allow for the processes to unfold in a manner that allows everyone to participate.
“Not the ID harvesting that we’ve been observing, and not the intimidation that has been ensuing in the region where bouncers go around and intimidate members because comrades want to steal the conference by hook or crook.”
Regional task team coordinator Antonio Carelse said the regional structure will allow its lawyers to study the judgment and advise on the way forward.
The national office of the ANC said the office of treasurer-general Paul Mashatile had already notified Dr WB Rubusana region and Sarah Baartman, which was also scheduled to go for its regional conference, to halt their conferences.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said in a statement: “The party will uphold the decision of the court and cure all the procedural violations as identified. We will ensure that the legitimacy of our branches is restored and protected.”
Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here.