Zumarite who tried to overturn Ramaphosa's election disowns the case he lost

14 October 2018 - 00:00
Vincent  Myeni, far right, in the company of ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial heavyweights Mthandeni  Dlungwane, left, and Super Zuma.
Image: Facebook Vincent Myeni, far right, in the company of ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial heavyweights Mthandeni Dlungwane, left, and Super Zuma.

The man who failed to convince the Pretoria high court to overturn President Cyril Ramaphosa's election as ANC boss has distanced himself from the case, saying he withdrew his application in January.

Vincent Myeni, an ANC branch leader in the Moses Mabhida region in KwaZulu-Natal, told the Sunday Times he was "shocked" when he read in the media that the court had ruled against him in a case he was no longer involved in.

"I have no interest in that thing. We have not pursued it. As far as I'm concerned it was withdrawn long ago. I instructed my lawyers to withdraw it in January," he said.

Myeni said that the withdrawal was informed by "organisational discipline".

In his court papers, Myeni pleaded with the high court to overturn the election of the ANC top six, claiming the process was fraught with fraud and manipulation. He also claimed there was a conflict of interest as one ANC leader had a relationship with a director of the election's facilitator, the EleXions Agency.

The court dismissed his application with costs.

The judgment comes as the ANC national executive committee has mandated party officials to investigate claims that a faction that supported Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at Nasrec last year is plotting to unseat Ramaphosa.

Insiders told the Sunday Times that the plan involved, among other things, going to court to challenge Ramaphosa's election.

Myeni is known in ANC circles as a close ally of Jacob Zuma backer and former Moses Mabhida chair Mthandeni Dlungwane.

He also enjoys close ties to Zuma strongman and ANC MP Mervyn Dirks.

"He is very close to the Zuma faction in Moses Mabhida that has a direct line with the former president, particularly Dlungwane," said an ANC insider from the region.

But Myeni downplayed his relationship with Dlungwane and Dirks, calling it a "comradely organisational relationship".

"I am the chair of the branch, Mthandeni is the chair of the region. I have that organisational relationship with him.

"Dirks is a member of my branch. When you are comrades you have that relationship. Because he is from my branch, I see him now and then," he said.

Dirks confirmed he is a member of the branch Myeni chairs but said the case was never discussed with him. "After Nasrec I went on holiday and read about the court challenge in the media," he said.

Dirks said his relationship with Myeni was more about sports than politics.

"He [Myeni] coached a Vodacom soccer team that I owned. When he became chairperson of the ANC branch I was serving on, I was serving on the then ANC PEC. So I was not actually politically involved in the branch during the time that he chaired the branch because I became the PEC deployee to eThekwini region and then Parliament," Dirks said. Attempts to get comment from Dlungwane.