JOHANNESBURG- Secretary General of the African National Congress Gwede Mantashe says the NEC has decided to not to allow the nullified structures to vote in the conference.
Mantashe made the announcement following an urgent National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on Saturday morning following three court judgements nullifying the KwaZulu-Natal and Free State PEC’s as well as the Regional Executive Committee of Bojanala in the North West.
“The NEC met about the three judgements that were given yesterday so that we must ensure we don’t do anything that will contaminate the National Conference. All the structures that are nullified will not be voting delegates at the conference,” he said.
Mantashe said NEC members wanted to run a clean conference that would not be challenged. He added that the structures that were cited in the judgements would not be turned away, but they would be allowed to be observers.
“We will not try any idea that might contaminate the conference. Branches that are cited in the cases will not vote at conference, we will not even allow them to vote, they will not vote. We will keep them, but they will not vote on any matter,” he said.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court declared the KZN provincial leadership null and void. Sihle Zikalala’s victory over Senzo Mchunu has been contested since the provincial conference. The Bloemfontein High Court ordered that the outcome of the recent Free State ANC’s elective conference was unlawful and void. That has resulted in the PEC’s being stripped of their voting rights in the conference. PEC’s have 27 votes.
The two provinces are backing Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over from President Jacob Zuma as party leader. Mantashe said other issues relating to the provinces would be addressed once the conference concludes its work. He said they wanted to run a good conference.
“Other issues will be addressed by various provinces beyond this conference. We will not take the risk. We want to run a good conference. When I retire as SG, I must be happy having run a good conference. There are no hopefuls, there are people who have been nominated,” he said.
Political analyst Levy Ndou said the decision by the party not to allow the nullified structures to vote was the right decision. He said they had to look at the implications of the court cases on the conference in general.
“They have taken the responsible decision to go sit down as the NEC to say what do we do with the situation. The ANC as the ruling party must be an organisation that respects the law and one would actually command them for the decision,” he said.
Ndou said the decision would have serious ramifications when it comes to the final numbers, particularly for Dlamini-Zuma.
“Obviously this will have an impact on the numbers and especially for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma because it is said these were the people in support of her. It remains up to the delegates to decide on which route to take in terms of the voting parties,” he said.
The conference is set to start at 2pm with Zuma expected to address delegates.