Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) president Kebby Maphatsoe launched a scathing attack on the judiciary in an emergency ANC national executive committee meeting at the Nasrec convention centre on Saturday.
Maphatsoe lashed out at the courts for their judgments against the ANC in the Free State, North West and KwaZulu-Natal, accusing the judiciary of planning to sabotage the ANC’s national conference, a senior member of the party told the Mail & Guardian anonymously.
“They discussed implications on the ANC, and the conference, if they were to defy the judgments in each case. Then Kebby attacked the judiciary, saying they plotted this thing [judgments],” a senior ANC member who was in the meeting told the M&G.
This week the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein disqualified 14 branches and the Free State’s provincial executive committee from voting in the conference and the North West High Court nullified the regional conference of the Bojanala region, and disqualified 38 branches from voting.
KZN’s 2015 conference, which elected Sihle Zikalala as chairperson, was also nullified and its PEC members will now be barred from voting at conference.
The NEC met on Saturday morning to discuss the implications of each of the judgments on its conference, and received legal opinion on each case from senior counsel.
Maphatsoe was alone in his condemnation of the courts, failing to secure support from NEC members or the ANC lawyers present.
Instead, former African Union (AU) commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma called on the NEC to “protect the integrity of the ANC and the conference, and abide by the judgments,” the ANC leader said.
Shortly after the meeting, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe confirmed that the PECs and disqualified branches would not be voting, and would only attend the gathering as observers.
The provinces affected by the judgments are known to support Dlamini-Zuma, but her supporters at the conference said they remain confident she will win the majority of votes.