KwaZulu-Natal is a province in turmoil, which makes it very difficult to predict what will happen after this week’s judgment by the High Court in Pietermaritzburg that the 2015 ANC provincial conference – during which the organisation’s current provincial leadership was elected – was illegal.
Some believe the decision plays into the hands of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and his campaign for the ANC’s top position, because those who won the court case are regarded as being against the faction which opposes President Jacob Zuma and his former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is also a candidate for the highest office.
The court ruling means, should the current, illegally elected leadership attempt to run the nomination process in the lead-up to the ANC’s national conference in December, there will be legal challenges from the anti-Zuma camp.
On the other hand, further legal challenges, say some analysts, could bolster the Zuma faction, because the entire December conference could be forcibly delayed.
This would allow Zuma to continue in office as ANC president and give him more time to out-manoeuvre Ramaphosa.
The latest developments are sure to add to instability in KZN, which has already been shaken by a spate of political executions of ANC members as the jockeying ahead of December gets deadly serious.
But what the legal action does indicate is that, whatever your political preferences, our courts are always there to uphold your rights.
The spat also indicates that the ANC is far from a monolithic organisation and – whatever you may feel about each faction – has a vigorous, functioning, internal democracy of its own.
The more voices there are in any national conversations, the less the chances of someone imposing a dictatorship upon us.