Nullify ‘unlawful’ Free State ANC candidates list, High Court asked

Nullify ‘unlawful’ Free State ANC candidates list, High Court asked

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks

A Former Free State MEC claims the 41 ANC candidates were nominated unlawfully in an unconstitutional list conference on December 10.

Former Free State MEC for sports, arts and culture Dan Kgothule has asked a court to nullify the Free State ANC candidates list for the provincial legislature and the National Assembly.

He demanded the candidate nomination lists be redone because the list conference that nominated them was unlawful.

Kgothule has approached the High Court in Johannesburg to challenge the validity of the province’s parliamentary lists.

He claimed the 41 ANC candidates were nominated unlawfully in an unconstitutional list conference on December 10.

The ANC in the Free State said it would oppose the application, and accused Kgothule and others of trying to destabilise the ANC to prevent it from contesting in the May 8 election.

Kgothule was MEC under former premier Ace Magashule, but was fired after falling out of favour. Magashule was allegedly displeased that Kgothule had defied him. There were also personal reasons cited for the dismissal.

In papers submitted in court on Tuesday, Kgothule and his co-applicants, Mokotso Abel Mokotso and Xhariep district municipality councillor Mongi Ntwanambi, asked the court to declare the ANC provincial list conference on December 10 last year unlawful and unconstitutional.

They also asked for a ruling that the resolutions and outcomes of the list conference be nullified, including the nominations.

The trio also demanded that the ANC and the Free State ANC provincial executive committee reconvene branch general meetings no later than April 30 to nominate new candidates for the two legislatures, and organise a provincial list conference not later than May 6.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has been asked to accept the amended candidates lists from the ANC.

The applicants have applied for an interdict to stop all 41 nominated candidates from carrying out their duties as candidates.

Claims have emerged that names of opponents of Magashule were removed from lists nominated by branches. The names of senior ANC members known to be Magashule’s enemies, such as Kgothule, former economic affairs MEC Mxolisi Dukwana, former Mangaung mayor Thabo Manyoni, former education MEC Tate Makgoe, former Finance MEC Elsabe Rockman, Butana Kompela and Ntwanambi, were not included on nomination lists at the ANC provincial list conference.

Monnapule Ntambo, a spokesperson for the disgruntled ANC members, questioned why some of Magashule’s opponents were removed and then reinstated on the lists.

He said all the names of those opposed to Magashule, who had sided with his rival Thabo Manyoni, were put at the bottom of the 30-member list.

The provincial list is topped by followers of Zuma and Magashule and members of the controversial ANC provincial executive committee (PEC).

They include Sam Mashinini, Mamiki Qabathe, Sisi Ntombela, William Bulwane and Magashule’s personal friend and former mayor of Maluti-a-Phofung, Vusi Tshabalala.

Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality, which owes Eskom billions for electricity, collapsed under Tshabalala and had to be placed under administration.

Ntamo questioned the inclusion of Letsemeng municipality mayor Thandi Reachable and Moqhaka local municipality mayor Tshidi Koloi, who were unpopular with ANC branches in their areas. Their municipalities were also unstable and had been beset by numerous protests.

ANC spokesperson Thabo Meeko said the ANC list conference was the product of democratic processes starting at branch level.

“The ANC candidates’ lists are with the IEC. We view this in a very serious light and we will oppose it.

“It will achieve nothing except to destabilise the ANC, not only in the Free State but nationally. This is an indication of a very problematic element within the ANC who want to be elected by any means.”

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