ANC leader Chauke could face arrest if found in contempt of court

North West interim provincial committee (IPC) co-ordinator Hlomani Chauke has until Friday to respond to a high court application for his arrest for contempt of court by a disgruntled fellow ANC member. 

In a court application submitted on Wednesday to the Johannesburg high court, Michael Mkandawira seeks to have Chauke found guilty of contempt and jailed for six months with a two-year suspension, after the IPC failed to implement a December court order to remove Gaolatlhe Kgabo as a party representative councillor for the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati district municipality in Vryburg, North West.

Chauke and the IPC were also ordered by Paul Mashatile, who is acting in the secretary general’s office, to follow the order, the Mail & Guardian is reliably informed. Mkandawira is also asking the ANC to suspend Chauke. 

Last December, Mkandawira petitioned the courts, which ruled in his favour, that Kgabo’s selection was inconsistent with the governing party’s local government elections manual and forms for the regional interview and vetting panel.

In his application, Mkandawira said certain guidelines in choosing council candidates were neglected when Kgabo was chosen as one of the ANC’s proportional representation councillors. 

The party has been plagued by disputes over its council selection. In the North West, the provincial list committee (PLC) tasked with attending to these disputes made several findings against Chauke and the IPC. 

Chauke has been at loggerheads with the provincial list committee after it ordered a rerun of the council candidate selection. He refused to do this, citing time constraints, and has been accused by North West branches of manipulating the selection process to install his allies in council positions.

Earlier this month, PLC chairperson Lorna Maloney accused provincial officials, extended IPC officials, interim regional committee officials and members of the legislature of participating in a co-ordinated plan against “defenceless” members of the ANC under Chauke’s nose.

She said less influential ANC members who were supposed to be on the party list had been bumped off it in favour of representatives who were illegitimately parachuted into those positions.

Last year, ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte wrote a sharply worded letter to Chauke threatening to suspend him as co-ordinator, after Maloney and elections committee head former president Kgalema Montlanthe laid a complaint against him for allegedly distorting the committee’s resolutions to ANC branches. 

Efforts to reach Chauke for comment were unsuccessful.

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Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa is a political journalist with a keen interest in local government.

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