The High Court in Pretoria not only dismissed a bid by KwaZulu-Natal businessperson Vincent Myeni to set aside the election of the ANC’s top six leaders at the party’s 2017 national conference, but also granted a punitive costs order against him.
Myeni wanted the high court to overturn the election of the top six, including the election of then deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa as the ANC’s new leader, and to order the election must be re-run.
Judge Neil Tuchman dismissed the application and ordered Myeni to pay the legal costs of the EleXions Agency (EA), which oversaw the elective process, on a punitive scale.
Myeni alleged in papers the election of the top six had been tainted because one of the EleXions Agency officials failed to disclose that one of the candidates had fathered her child.
He also questioned the verification of the credentials of voting delegates and alleged the missing 68 votes not included in the final tally had not been explained.
The EA argued their official and one of the ANC’s top six had neither a romantic relationship nor a “love child” and that Myeni’s allegation was not only false, but scandalous and slanderous.
They maintained Myeni’s allegations of fraud were unsubstantiated, pointing out that the ANC’s electoral commission had decided to quarantine 63 votes because the voters’ names were not on the voters’ roll.
The ANC’s steering committee found that only 16 of the quarantined votes were valid voters and those votes were not counted because they could not make a difference to the outcome.
The ANC’s deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, said in an affidavit Myeni, who said he was the chair of a branch in Ward 32 in the Msunduzi sub-region, could not prove he was an ANC member in good standing or even a representative of a bona fide ANC branch.