A small group of supporters of the sitting ANC KwaZulu-Natal leadership has gathered outside the high court in Pietermaritzburg where their election at a provincial conference in November 2015 is being challenged.
The case, brought by ANC Vryheid councillor Lawrence Dube and four other supporters Senzo Mchunu, the ousted ANC chairperson and the province’s premier, is set down for the next three days. It challenges the election of current chairperson Sihle Zikalala and his entire executive at the conference, asking for re-run and a setting aside of all the political decisions emanating from it.
Police have cordoned off the area in front of court, with the protesters being confined to the parking lot.
Inside court, counsel representing the applicants and Zikalala’s executive have gone into the judge’s chambers, seemingly to discuss how the day’s proceedings should be conducted. Most of the provincial executive committee, including Zikalala, his secretary, Super Zuma and deputy chairperson and Premier Willies Mchunu, are at court, along with the applicants and their supporters.
In papers, Dube and fellow applicants Sibahle Zikalala, Martin Mzangwa, Mzweni Ngcobo and Lindiwe Buthelezi claim the outcome of the conference was rigged by Zikalala’s faction. They also claim that the process leading to conference was also manipulated to load delegations from the province’s 800-odd branches with pro-Zikalala delegates.
They also claim the result of the conference was rigged and that it was broadcast on the ANC provincial Twitter account before voting had been concluded.