ANC leadership in KZN lives on to fight another day
The fate of the ANC's KwaZulu-Natal leadership is still not known‚ and has again been left in the hands of Pietermaritzburg High Court judges who will now decide whether they vacate office or not.
Judgment was reserved on Thursday in the appeal application by the provincial ANC leadership to stop the nullification of its chaotic 8th provincial elective conference of November 2015. This followed after a ruling in September in the same court that declared the conference null and void - a ruling the ANC appealed.
ANC lawyer Adv Greg Harpur in his heads of argument argued before judges Poet Koen‚ Charmaine Balton and Mahendra Chetty that removing the PEC from office will cause irreparable damage.
He said there would be huge disruption in the performance of the party's functions.
At issue was also the salary of ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma.
Zuma's position is a full functionary in the organisation and among all the PEC members he is the only one working fulltime for the ANC.
However‚ the original applicants‚ represented by advocates Wim Trengrove and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi‚ argued that in fact they were the ones who had suffered irreparable damage.
Ngcukaitobi argued that the mere non-compliance by the PEC with the original ruling that nullified the conference was causing damage to their clients.
"The court ruled that the decisions taken at the conference including the election of the current leadership was unlawful. The current PEC has no right to be in office. They should vacate the office‚" he said.
Ngcukaitobi said it appeared the ANC's tactic was to drag the matter on until the so-called "rebels" who lodged the case against their parent body lost interest.
He said the court should dismiss their application for leave to appeal as it had no basis.
The high-profile case has seen thousands turn up to support warring ANC factions in the province.
The case was brought by ANC councillor Lawrence Dube and four others in May 2016 following results which saw former premier Senzo Mchunu being ousted as provincial chairperson and being replaced by Sihle Zikalala.
Outside the court Dube said there had been huge damage done by the PEC including the rigging of branch nominations and failure to sort out disputes.
"Bringing this application was to cause more delays‚" he said.
The applicants claimed the conference was not only held prematurely‚ but that it was riddled with irregularities and the results were rigged.
Also present in court was ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte who would not give interviews.
"I'm only here because the NEC is one of the respondents‚" she said.
Duarte hugged and interacted with both factions inside court.