A disgruntled group of Eastern Cape ANC members headed to court on Monday to attempt to force the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to implement a recommendation from the Ndebele Appeals Panel.
It was reported on Monday afternoon that the High Court in Johannesburg had reserved judgment on their application.
On Monday afternoon, providing feedback following a special NEC meeting in Irene ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said he was aware of the court case and they were working to provide whatever input was required to the high court.
“We will await the outcome of that case,” he said, adding that his party’s leaders would continue to mediate in the province in the interests of unity.
The party, however, does not feel bound by the recommendations of its own internal panel and is likely to make the same point to the court.
Sbu Ndebele’s report on the disputed Eastern Cape provincial elective conference recommended that the Oscar Mabuyane-led provincial executive be disbanded, and that an interim structure be appointed until a rerun of the elective conference can be held, within three months.
[BREAKING NEWS] eNCA can reveal that the Ndebele Appeals Panel Report on the disputed ANC Eastern Cape Provincial Elective Conference, recommended that the Oscar Mabuyane-led provincial executive be “suspend[ed]” and that an “interim structure” be appointed. #ANCEC pic.twitter.com/l5v5zNbgvk
— Xoli Mngambi (@XoliMngambi) June 18, 2018
However, ANC deputy president David Mabuza had already said the current Eastern Cape ANC provincial executive committee led by Mabuyane is the only legitimate leadership recognised by the NEC.
Speaking during the launch of the Chris Hani volunteers programme yesterday, Mabuza said the province had experienced many leadership problems, but the PEC, elected in October last year, was the only one recognised by Luthuli House.
His statement came amid the backdrop of the disgruntled members planning to approach the High Court in Johannesburg to nullify the result of the October provincial conference, despite the fact that the group lost in the Grahamstown High Court last December.
Should the dissatisfied members win the case, it would effectively nullify the Nasrec ANC national conference as part of a ripple effect.
This would mean that President Cyril Ramaphosa and his NEC, who were elected at Nasrec, might have to step down and that former president Jacob Zuma could return to lead the party.
If I was part of the Zuma camp I would suggest that they crowd fund the Eastern Cape court case that might lead to Ramaphosa and his NEC being disbanded and Zuma temporarily becomes ANC president until the next elective conference is held
— Zuko Zeka (@zukoZEKA) June 18, 2018
This view was, however, dismissed by political analyst Zamikhaya Maseti, who said it made no sense. The NEC had recognised the Mabuyane PEC and allowed them to participate in the Nasrec national conference.
As part of its intervention to bring political stability in the province, the NEC opted for reconciliation between the two Eastern Cape factions, including ordering a provincial cabinet reshuffle that would accommodate some new PEC members. Mabuza further said the ANC had apologised for the public images showing members that were divided.
The NEC appointed Ndebele to head a task team to investigate the complaints by members opposed to the outcome of the October 2017 provincial elective conference.
The ANC is also facing problems from the Free State.
ANC members of some 28 branches in the Free State have given the #ANCNEC until the end of the day to disband the PEC elected last month or face a court challenge
— Aldrin Sampear (@AldrinSampear) June 18, 2018
WATCH: An ANC faction in the Eastern Cape is heading to court to have the provincial conference nullified. If the court bid succeeds, it could see the nullification of the national elective conference in December. @XoliMngambi unpacks this further. Courtesy #DStv403 pic.twitter.com/GADwk40sfm
— eNCA (@eNCA) June 18, 2018