Phosa wants Mpumalanga blocked from ANC elective conference

07 December 2017 - 19:26 By Neo Goba
ANC presidential candidate Mathews Phosa. File photo.
ANC presidential candidate Mathews Phosa. File photo.
Image: RUSSELL ROBERTS

ANC presidential candidate Mathews Phosa has demanded the ANC exclude delegates from Mpumalanga from participating in the party’s December elective conference.

Phosa‚ via his campaign manager Ronalo Malomane‚ has demanded in a lawyer’s letter sent to the ANC’s provincial and national leadership that the outcomes of branch general meetings and the bi-annual general meetings of the province be nullified and consequently‚ the outcomes of the provincial general council also be rescinded and nullified.

The letter‚ addressed to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe‚ demanded that:

"The nominations of ‘unity’ as a candidate be rescinded and nullified [and] steps be taken to ensure that voting at the national conference shall be by open ballot or any other method which ensures that ANC members are not unlawfully disenfranchised or misrepresented.

"No delegates from the affected branches‚ alternatively from the Mpumalanga province‚ shall be allowed to attend or participate in the 54th national conference. Due to the obvious urgency and constitutional magnitude of this matter and imminence of the national conference‚ we demand that such undertakings be furnished to us by no later than 10h00 on Thursday 7 December 2017.

"Failing which our clients will have no other option but to launch urgent proceedings in the High Court without any further notice to you‚" the letter read.

It is understood that Malomane has Phosa’s backing in the matter.

Earlier in the week Phosa had said he would personally file papers in court‚ requesting the court to nullify the Mpumalanga presidential nomination process.

Malomane and six other ANC members were expected to file court papers after the ANC leadership failed to reply to the letter on Thursday.

"The phenomenon is illegitimate and must be distinguished from all acceptable methods of voting allowable in the ANC. If it can be shown that the vote for 'unity' represents the true wishes of the ANC members at the affected branches which is vehemently disputed‚ then it is incumbent upon the ANC to take all reasonable steps to ensure that these wishes will be duly expressed at the national conference‚ including but not limited to excluding the relevant delegates from deviation‚" the letter read.

The Mpumalanga branch nominations included 123 for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma while Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa got 117. There were 223 "unity" votes.

Asked to comment on Phosa's demands‚ Mantashe said: "No‚ that is not going to happen. It was actually mischievous for Mathews Phosa to write me a letter and give it to you."

Apart from Dlamini-Zuma‚ Ramaphosa and Phosa‚ there are four other presidential hopefuls seeking to replace Zuma. They are treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize‚ party chairperson and Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete and national executive members Lindiwe Sisulu and Jeff Radebe.

Mpumalanga has emerged as a kingmaker ahead of the elective conference‚ due to take place from December 16-20 at Nasrec Expo Centre in Soweto.

On Monday‚ Mantashe said all these court cases were coming up simply because people wanted to manipulate the voting system at the ANC's elective conference and were therefore using courts as a tool to fight internal party matters.

ANC Conference 2017
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