The Constitutional Court has declared the ANC's Free State PEC "and its decisions and resolutions [made there] unlawful and invalid".
The court only delivered its judgment on Friday and reasons are expected to be handed down on December 18.
The Mail & Guardian understands that the court's decision means that the provincial executive committee that existed prior to the provincial elective conference, which was held in June this year in Parys, is reinstated and whatever meetings and events presided over by the executive committee that was elected at the Parys conference on June 21 to 23 this year will now be invalid.
This will mean that the provincial nomination conference held after Parys and its decisions, including the one to nominate the slate featuring President Jacob Zuma is now invalid. This will, however, have no bearing on Zuma standing for the ANC presidency at its national elective conference due to start on December 16 as he has been nominated by other provinces.
Mpho Ramakatsa, the main applicant in the matter welcomed the judgment saying "justice has prevailed" and was of the opinion that the branch general meetings held after Parys to nominate leadership choices and decide on voting delegates to go to Mangaung were now invalid.
But there is a difference of opinion on the ruling as one legal source told the M&G that those branch delegates who attended the Parys conference would be the same delegates going to Mangaung and that would remain unchanged. There are also question marks over the validity of those branch processes held after Parys to choose delegates if they had been attended to by deployees of the provincial executive committee that is now declared invalid.
The judgment saw the court split seven-to-three (justice Edwin Cameron was not present during the hearings) with chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and justices Johan Froneman and Zak Yacoob dissenting from the majority.