Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

ANC Eastern Cape members lose urgent bid to nullify ‘festival of chairs’ outcome

Aggrieved ANC members have lost their court bid to force the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) to disband the Eastern Cape executive committee elected at the so-called “festival of chairs” conference.

The high court in Johannesburg struck the matter off the roll with costs on Monday.

Judge Zeenat Carelse highlighted that the “urgency” was self-created, stating that it took the disgruntled members 11 days to approach the court after the NEC had discussed the Ndebele report. 

The NEC, which is the ruling party’s highest decision-making body, had tasked NEC member Sbu Ndebele to investigate the dispute around the Eastern Cape’s 2017 elective conference.

The event descended into chaos when delegates threw chairs at each other, leaving scores injured. Some members abandoned the conference after Oscar Mabuyane was elected to replace Premier Phumulo Masualle as chair of the party’s third-largest province. The weekend-long conference had already been marred by deep divisions between the two rival factions.

READ MORE: ANC in mad rush to stamp out fires

In his report, Ndebele recommended a disbandment of the provincial executive committee which was elected at the conference and suggested that a new conference be held.

Matter set down for next month

However, the NEC rejected his recommendation, with some members labelling his report “biased and not factual”.

The report recommended instead that there should be a “political solution” that would involve NEC members travelling to the Eastern Cape to try and help build “unity” in the province.

In dismissing the matter’s urgency, Judge Carelse set it down for hearings a month later.

“Pertinently, on the applicant’s own version, the matter cannot be rendered urgent to the extent that the applicants have requested a referral to oral evidence. This puts an end to the question of urgency. In my view the applicants have not made out a case for urgency.

“If there is urgency it is self-created,” Judge Carelse ruled.

The aggrieved members had argued before the court that the minutes from an NEC meeting discussing the matter did not reflect that it had rejected or accepted Ndebele’s report, but that the minutes only stated that the NEC had “noted” it.

Deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, the minutes showed, had argued that the NEC had taken a decision to reject the report, leaving nothing to be implemented. — News 24

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and get the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. To follow the news, sign up to our daily elections newsletter for the latest updates and analysis.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, a full year’s access is just R510, half the usual cost. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Mahlatse Mahlase
Mahlatse Mahlase works from Jozi. Group Editor-IN-Chief EWN : [email protected] Mahlatse Mahlase has over 36181 followers on Twitter.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Mission implausible for the DA’s man in Nkandla

Malibongwe Dubazane is contesting all 14 of the IFP-run Nkandla local municipality’s wards

Andries Tatane’s spirit will drive fight against ANC in Ficksburg

The nascent Setsoto Service Delivery Forum is confident it can remove the ‘failing ANC’ in the chronically mismanaged Free State municipality

Paddy Harper: On gleeful politicians and headless chickens

Paddy Harper doesn’t know who to vote for yet, since the Dagga Party isn’t contesting his ward, but right now what to order for lunch is a more pressing concern

Malema: ANC will use load-shedding to steal votes

While on the campaign trail in the Eastern Cape, EFF leader Julius Malema, without evidence, claimed the ANC was planning to use rolling blackouts to ‘steal votes’

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…