The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) says it is still awaiting the outcome of an ongoing court case before deciding the rightful leadership of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC).
On Monday, the commission said it had written to both leadership groups within the PAC advising them of the wait, before recognising either faction as the leadership of the party.
In a letter issued to the legal representatives of both factions – that of Narius Moloto and Mzwanele Nyhontso – the commission indicated that the leadership dispute and litigation had made it impossible for it to determine the “rightful leadership”.
“It is clear that there is still a raging leadership dispute within the PAC and, what is more, there are disputes between the warring groupings about the current status of their litigation and the legal effect thereof.
“The commission’s enduring position is that it is neither empowered nor able to resolve leadership disputes and to determine which grouping comprises the legitimate leadership of a party, and the PAC is no exception…” the letter read.
The commission indicated that such disputes should either be resolved politically inside the party concerned or, failing which, the courts should fix them.
The letter also stated that the groups should write to the commission within seven days giving reasons why it should or should not, among others, retract a decision communicated on October 9 and 14 pending the finalisation of litigation.
The commission said in October, based on the interpretation of court rulings and the status of litigation at the time, it amended its record to indicate Nyhontso’s grouping as the legitimate leadership of the party.
However, subsequent correspondence from both sides revealed disputes as to whether the most recent court orders were in effect or whether they were suspended pending an appeal.