The High Court in Bloemfontein has ruled that the ANC Free State elective conference, scheduled to take place on Friday, cannot go ahead until branch general meetings which have been declared unlawful and irregular are held in a lawful manner.
The court said a number of branch general meetings that took place in the past couple of months were unlawful and should be held again and this time, in a lawful environment. So far, twenty-nine branch general meetings have been declared unlawful and irregular.
Hanno Bekker, the attorney representing the 26 ANC members who brought the case‚ said there had to be a seven-day notice given before a branch general meeting could be held. Thus, there was not enough time to convene these meetings lawfully before the scheduled provincial conference.
This comes a day after Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was nominated as the province’s presidential candidate at the Free State provincial general council (PGC) held in Parys. The province also endorsed nominations of members of Dlamini-Zuma’s slate including Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza who was nominated as deputy president.
The party was planning to hold the conference from Friday, following the province’s provincial general council (PGC) meeting on Tuesday. However, this will no longer be possible after the court order which halts every activity concerning the ANC Free State elective conference.
The Free State provincial executive committee’s term ended in May this year. The provincial conference was recently ordered by the court to take place this coming weekend. The province’s elective conference has been long overdue but has constantly faced legal challenges from some ANC members due to unlawful processes.
Ace Magashule who has been the Free State ANC chair since 1994 was due for a face-off with his deputy Thabo Monyane.