Conference will go ahead, despite court challenge – Free State ANC

Conference will go ahead, despite court challenge – Free State ANC

The ANC in the Free State has dismissed the threat of yet another court battle over the legitimacy of its provincial congress, and says it will push on with its second day of conference.

Hanno Bekker, an attorney acting on behalf of disgruntled members of the party, said around 32% of the province’s branches are seeking to have the 8th provincial congress nullified due to a failure to comply with a court ruling.

Last week, the High Court in Bloemfontein ruled that the provincial congress could not go ahead until it had rerun 29 branch general meetings. The ANC in the province insists it has done so, but Bekker said irregularities that plagued processes in the lead up to the previous court ruling have prevailed.

ANC provincial spokesperson Thabo Meeko said the provincial executive committee (PEC) knew nothing about a pending court matter or an application against their congress.

“We are not aware of any court case against us… it is the media yesterday (Sunday)… and even now, my suspicion is that you are insinuating there’s one, [but] until our lawyers are saying there is something on the table, we can’t canvas for something to come our way,” said Meeko.

He said the province was aware of the judgment against it and was doing all it could do to adhere to it.

“As the PEC, led by the chair, we have done everything else, that’s why from time to time we have had to pause, stretch consultations, consult with everybody,” he said.

The leadership was trying to do everything impossible, said Meeko, referring to the province’s court obligations.

He said the leadership had even engaged those who took the province to court.

The provincial spokesperson also said no one had boycotted the conference.

“I don’t know what else the ANC in this province must do,” he asked rhetorically.

Meeko also denied claims that some, including provincial deputy chairperson Thabo Manyoni, had boycotted the conference, but said no excuse was sent to the provincial secretary by Ace Magashule’s deputy.