Upset ANC members lose court bid

Oscar Mabuyane at the ICC after he was elected chairperson of the ANC in the Eastern Cape.
Oscar Mabuyane at the ICC after he was elected chairperson of the ANC in the Eastern Cape.
Image: Thabang Maseko / File

It was the end of the road for a group of disgruntled ANC members who were challenging the outcome of the ANC’s Eastern Cape elective conference when their case was dismissed by the Constitutional Court.

The group of 11 members, who were hellbent on having the Eastern Cape ANC leadership dissolved, had applied for direct access to the Constitutional Court to hear their case.

They also applied for leave to appeal the decision of the South Gauteng High Court, which earlier this year threw out their case, saying it was not urgent.

The eleven applicants were Nomawethu Mgabadeli, Bulelwa Madikida, Mtetiswa Jijingubo, Nontlahla Majola, Ntelwa Nompilo, Notabile Xhate, Bayete Thabalaza, Jayo Marhini, Mlandeli Bandezi, Baxolile Kulu and Zoleka Khoba.

The entire ANC provincial executive committee were cited as respondents.

Their court bid is one of several by various groups of disgruntled members who felt that the provincial structure elected in East London late last year was not a legitimate one.

Eight judges of the Constitutional Court ordered last month: “It has concluded that... the application for leave to appeal should be dismissed as it bears no prospects of success.

“The application for direct access is dismissed.”

ANC provincial spokesperson Gift Ngqondi said they welcomed the judgment.

“This judgment once again affirms the right of the ANC to determine its own conferences, processes, procedures and proceedings in terms of its constitution without interference.

“We have consistently argued that the application was frivolous as it essentially sought to ask the court to grant them carte blanche to disrupt the functioning of the organisation. The case was an attempt to cajole the judiciary into being a party to their unconstitutional and silly decision not to recognise and accept the [conference] outcomes.”

He added that the judiciary should remain guarded at attempts to exploit the ANC’s democratic processes. — Additional reporting by Rochelle de Kock