KZN ANC gives Mantashe the finger

The ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee (PEC) has again defied the party’s national leadership and gone ahead with an appeal against the high court judgment that declared it unlawful and illegitimate.

The move by the PEC, led by chairperson Sihle Zikalala and secretary Super Zuma, comes ahead of the party’s watershed national executive committee (NEC) and national working committee (NWC) meetings scheduled for Friday, at which the decision on whether or not to allow an appeal was due to be made.

It also flies in the face of the decision by Luthuli House at last weekend’s special NEC meeting, that the PEC hold its fire while legal opinion was being considered.

The ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, told the Mail & Guardian on Thursday he was aware the KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee had applied to appeal the declaration of its illegitimacy, but warned the decision could be reversed if the NEC meeting this weekend decided otherwise.

Mantashe is expected to present the NEC with the legal opinion from senior counsel on whether or not to appeal the judgment.

“The 15-day period to appeal ends today [Thursday]. They [the KwaZulu-Natal leadership] are erring on the side of caution … They took the conservative calculation of the 15 days. If the NEC decides otherwise, that appeal can be withdrawn,” said Mantashe.

In their application for leave to appeal Zikalala and the PEC members said that Judge Pete Koen, who wrote the judgment on behalf of a full Bench, had come up with a new interpretation of a rule of the ANC’s constitution, but that neither side of the case had then been allowed to supplement its arguments on this.

According to a senior ANC leader, during last week’s special NEC meeting the majority of ANC members argued that this rule needed to be amended in December in order to calrify it — rather than go to court.

President Jacob Zuma is said to have launched an 11th-hour fight to save the party’s KwaZulu-Natal PEC during last weekend’s special NEC meeting after the gathering decided to disband the PEC.

The KwaZulu-Natal PEC, which has been going about its business as usual despite the court order, has also been instructed to await the appointment of a provincial task team by the NWC to run the business of the ANC in the province until after the December national conference.

The PEC’s newly lodged appeal is expected to spark a backlash, not only from the governing party’s NEC but also from the applicants in the case, which was brought by ANC branches loyal to ousted chairperson Senzo Mchunu last May.

Three weeks ago, the court ruled in their favour on the basis that the provincial conference had not met the requirement of being called by a third of the ANC branches in the province.

Vryheid councillor Lawrence Dube, the main applicant in the case, was reluctant to comment, but said they would go to court to seek an order compelling the PEC to stand down as instructed by the court.

‘’We are hoping that the NWC and NEC go ahead with the process of appointing a provincial task team tomorrow [Friday] as scheduled. Should this court process continue, we will seek a compulsion order enforcing the judgment,’’ Dube said.

Two reliable ANC sources told the M&G that the notice of intent to appeal had been filed with the registrar of the high court in Pietermaritzburg, where the ruling was issued.

Super Zuma said on Thursday that the PEC was still going about its business and was awaiting a decision from the NEC. Neither he nor spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli had responded to questions about the decision to appeal at the time of going to press.

Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper
Storyteller and blag artist.
Govan Whittles

Govan Whittles is a general news and political multimedia journalist at the Mail & Guardian. Born in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, he cut his teeth as a radio journalist at Primedia Broadcasting. He produced two documentaries and one short film for the Walter Sisulu University, and enjoys writing about grassroots issues, national politics, identity, heritage and hip-hop culture.


Workers fight job-creation ‘mess’

Former Ekurhuleni workers argued in court that a programme promising to equip them with skills simply acted as a labour broker for the municipality

Court dissolves local municipality

Landmark judgment paves the way for South Africans to use legal system to hold councils responsible

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.