ANC likely to face legal showdown
Duarte-led committee tackles disputed regional conference outcomes
The outcomes of the recently held Dr WB Rubusana regional conference are likely to be challenged in court if the dispute resolution committee does not review and set them aside.
On Sunday ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte who heads the national appeals committee descended on the region to listen to appeals from several branches who are disgruntled with processes leading to the election of Pumlani Mkolo as regional chair.
Mkolo defeated his once ally Xola Pakati to occupy the hot seat at Dr WB Rubusana House, with Antonio Carels being elected as regional secretary.
Now several branches have approached ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, to iron out their differences just days after the conference was held.
On Friday Gwentshe branch’s attorneys wrote to provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi, Duarte and ANC secretary general Ace Magashule notifying them of their intentions to contest the outcomes in court.
In the letter Godongwana Ngonyama Pakade Attorneys complain that their clients, on the day of the commencement of the conference, lodged an urgent interdict with Luthuli House for the conference not to commence, but it did.
“To our surprise the elective conference proceeded until it was concluded without any response from [ANC] legal department,” the letter reads.
The attorneys say that instead their clients were contacted by the ANC provincial office to attend Sunday’s national dispute committee (NDC) meeting.
They further state that they have taken instruction from their clients to bring an application to have the outcomes of the conference reviewed and set aside due to various irregularities.
“In the light of the proposed national dispute committee meeting, we have been instructed further to withhold the institution [implementation] of the intended review proceedings pending the outcome of the proposed meeting with the NDC,” part of the letter reads.
Contacted for comment Ngcukaitobi said that the appeals committee had been created by the organisation for disgruntled members to ventilate issues internally.
The Dispatch understands that about 15 branches presented their cases to the NDC.
The Dispatch learnt that one of the main issues that were addressed was Mkolo’s illegibility to contest the conference after his membership was suspended subsequent to his alleged involvement in the Nelson Mandela funeral scandal. – Additional reporting Simthandile Ford