The Vryheid ANC councillor behind the court case that unseated the KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee (PEC) has been barred from the party’s national elective conference at Nasrec after his branch was disqualified.
Lawrence Dube, the Vryheid-based optometrist who led the court challenge to the 2015 election of the PEC, led by current chairperson Sihle Zikalala, was finally disqualified after the appeal against the nullification of his branch’s general meeting last month failed on Saturday afternoon.
In addition to Dube’s branch, Ward 8, Vryheid, the Ward 4, Ulundi, branch also failed in its appeal. ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe met the delegation from the ANC’s Abaqulusi region at the University of Johannesburg, where the branches were being registered and the last appeals heard.
The region, which is backing deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa for the ANC presidency, now has 38 delegates at the conference instead of 40.
Dube and other supporters of former ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Senzo Mchunu went to the high court in Pietermaritzburg last year, claiming the conference had been rigged. They succeeded on the basis that the province had failed to meet the criteria to hold the elective meeting and won a judgment setting aside the conference result and decision.
The PEC appealed but failed in a bid to stop Dube and his colleagues from securing an order enforcing the judgment.
As a result of the order, the 27 KwaZulu-Natal PEC members have been stripped of their voting powers at the conference. Only those PEC members who are branch delegates — with Zikalala among them — are attending as voting delegates.
Dube said that, despite his branch holding a successful branch general meeting (BGM) and nominating him as its number one delegate, the result was nullified by the province.
“We have been kept out through a scheme concocted by the PEC and the REC [regional executive committee] deployee, who ensured that the BGM was nullified. Most of the branches in the province which support Cyril Ramaphosa are being destabilised in one way or another,” he said.
“We met with the secretary general and, at this stage, it seems they have succeeded in keeping me out,” Dube told the Mail & Guardian. “For now, it is water under the bridge. My comrades who are in there will articulate our position and do what we set out to do. There is nothing that can be done at this stage. I am not going to cry about it.”
Dube said that after the conference ended, they would ensure that the order, which effectively evicts the PEC from the Pixley ka Seme House offices in Durban, is implemented.
“When we get back to Durban we will be making sure that the order is enforced and that they leave Pixley ka Seme,” he said.
“They are not legitimate and will have to vacate the office while a provincial task team takes over.”