Pro-Magashule ANC Free State PEC takes disbandment fight to ConCourt

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has filed a confirmatory affidavit in support of the ANC Free State application for leave to appeal the SCA ruling. File photo.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has filed a confirmatory affidavit in support of the ANC Free State application for leave to appeal the SCA ruling. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy/Sunday Times

The ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) in the Free State has filed papers in the Constitutional Court, asking it to set aside a recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling that declared its election in 2018 unlawful and unconstitutional.

The move by the PEC, which is backed by the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule, is at odds with the decision taken by the ANC’s national working committee (NWC), which preferred a “political solution” to the matter and was against any legal appeals on the SCA ruling.

The NWC appointed former president Kgalema Motlanthe to “lead engagements aimed at building a united structure in the province”.

The ANC Free State PEC, through its chairperson Sam Mashinini, wants the Constitutional Court to set aside the SCA ruling that declared 2018 conference unlawful.

The SCA ruling spelt bad news for Magashule, as the disbandment of Mashinini's PEC would mean the end of Magashule's tight grip on the control of party structures in his home province, hence his support of the decision to approach the ConCourt.

“The SCA has committed material errors of fact and law. The judgment of the SCA is riddled with factual errors, an indication of its failure to apply its mind to the facts,” Mashinini says in his founding affidavit.

In its ruling, the SCA said: “The order of the court below is set aside and replaced by the following: it is declared that the provincial conference for the Free State that took place on May 18 and 19 2018 was held in violation of the court order of November 29 2017 under case number 5942/2017 and that the said provincial conference, its decisions/resolutions and/or outcome are unlawful and unconstitutional.

“The declaration of invalidity mentioned in paragraph 3 of the order shall only be effective as from the date of the delivery of this judgment.”

Magashule has filed a confirmatory affidavit in support of the ANC Free State application for leave to appeal the SCA ruling.

This is yet another show of defiance by Magashule against the party's national leadership. Magashule caused chaos earlier this month when he told provincial secretaries to also include names of those facing allegations of corruption when sending their lists of those who will be affected by the step-aside rule.

The national executive committee had limited the step-aside rule to only those who have been charged in court.

Neither the ANC Free State nor the party's national officials had responded to questions from TimesLIVE at the time of publishing. This is a developing story.

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