Dissident ANC members in the Free State will attempt to block the province from sending delegates to the party’s national elective conference in the Bloemfontein High Court on Thursday.
They accuse the party’s provincial leadership of blatantly ignoring the Free State High Court’s ruling on 29 November, 2017 that biennial and branch general meetings conducted between August and November were irregular, unlawful, unconstitutional and/or in breach of the ANC constitution.
The Free State’s last Provincial Conference was held on 11 May, 2013. The ANC constitution’s rule 17.2.1 requires provincial conferences to be held every four years, with a grace period of 90 days allowed.
By holding the conference in December, and not prior to 11 August, the Free State provincial executive committee (PEC) effectively rendered itself dissolved.
According to Hanno Bekker, an attorney representing the dissident members, “The outcome of the ruling of 29 November was that any Provincial Conferences planned by the ANC Free State would not be able to proceed until the Branch General Meetings has been rerun. As such, the PEC effectively no longer exist as their time has lapsed and therefore no longer has a mandate to represent the province.
“However, a Provincial Conference took place on 10-11 December 2017, and the ANC Free State is in contempt of the court order. We are therefore approaching the Free State High Court on an urgent basis in order to nullify any decisions and/or outcomes of the Provincial Conference, as well as indicating to the court that the ANC Free State clearly ignored the court’s previous ruling.”