EFF’s new top six posts at risk as members drag party to court over conference

EFF leader Julius Malema addresses media at Expo Centre, Nasrec, 21 November 2019 ahead of their December conference. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The applicants seek that the courts order that the election of the Ugu regional command team in August 2018 in Port Shepstone be declared unlawful and void, which puts election results at risk.

Eleven disgruntled EFF members have gone to court to challenge the party’s Ugu regional elective conference, which could have adverse implications on its national people’s assembly which concluded on Monday.

The applicants have also argued that the election of the EFF KZN provincial command team be declared unlawful and void.

The eleven applicants, all former members of the Ugu regional interim structure, lodged their court papers in March 2019 at the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

In their court application, the applicants seek that the courts order that the election of the Ugu regional command team (RCT) in August 2018 in Port Shepstone be declared unlawful and void.

If the courts grant this application, this could also mean that the results of the EFF’s national conference, where Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu were re-elected by over 3 000 delegates as president and deputy president respectively, could be at risk.

“The RCT was fraudulently elected by the Regional Peoples Assembly (RPA) as bank deposit slips were forged to falsely reflect 74 out of 85 EFF branches in the Ugu region had been paid up when they were not. As these branches were not in good standing they were not entitled to vote in the election for the RCT…” the court application reads.

“Several delegates attending the RPA were not from wards they purportedly represented. Several persons attended the RPA and voted for the RCT whilst assuming the identity of delegates who did not attend.”

It added that the voting was unlawful and the election and appointments of the regional team was similarly tainted and void.

In his responding affidavit, then-EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee argued that the applicants were “self serving” by resuscitating their application ahead of the party’s elective conference.

“Having failed to be elected to positions of leadership within the EFF, the applicants have now determined that they will use a scorched earth policy. The applicants want to cause maximum damage to the EFF generally and in the run up to the NPA in particular. Sour grapes aside, the applicants’ own delay has rendered this application moot. It should not be entertained at all,” the court papers read.

Gardee also argued that the first and second applicants have been expelled, adding that in consequence, the court cannot adjudicate the complaints of the applicants as it stands.

“Relief sought will have no effect on the termination of membership of [the] first and second respondents,” he said, adding that the applicants failed to review and set aside the decision taken by the relevant internal appeal body of the office of the secretary general.

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