Getrude Makhafola
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
8 Jun 2022
10:59 pm

Eastern Cape ANC members demand do-over of ‘unlawful’ provincial conference

Getrude Makhafola

Dr WB Rubusana branch members have given Luthuli House three weeks to dissolve the provincial leadership, or face court action.

ANC Eastern Cape provincial chairperson Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane immediately after being elected on 9 May 2022 in East London. Photo: Gallo Images/Daily Maverick/Felix Dlangamandla

Lawyers for members of the African National Congress (ANC) at Eastern Cape regions have sent a letter to acting secretary general Paul Mashatile, demanding that the outcomes of last month’s conference be revoked and the elected leadership dissolved.

The disgruntled members are led by Nonyamezele Mxenge branch member in Dr WB Rubusana region, Ondela Sokomani, a supporter of Babalo Madikizela, who lost against the re-elected Oscar Mabuyane at the heated conference.

Ahead of the conference, Sokomani and others raised disputes regarding branch general meetings. They won in the high court, where Judge GNZ Mjali declared that the decisions, resolutions and outcomes of branch biennial general meetings (BBGMs) and branch general meetings (BGMs) held during February and March in Rubusana were effectively null and void.

However, a second court application to urgently halt the provincial conference that was already underway failed.

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The letter from Makangela Mtungani Inc, dated 6 June, states that pre-conference processes were marred by irregularities.

Members from Rubusana, read the letter, were barred from participating in the conference because of their chaotic branch meetings that were ultimately interdicted in court.

“The ANC unlawfully allowed Rubusana delegates elected from the questionable branch meetings to participate in the provincial province so as to contaminate it.

“A great number of re-runs were hastily and chaotically ordered within 48 hours of the start of the provincial conference, resulting in their unlawfulness, but the delegates from the affected branches were irregularly allowed to participate in conference.”

READ MORE: ANC Eastern Cape conference experiences disruptions over credentials

Additionally, more than 14 branches at the OR Tambo region whose delegates were legitimately elected were “unceremoniously” changed at the venue, the group said. They alleged “foreign and anti-ANC methods” of conducting the sitting even when delegates did not adopt conference committees.

“In any event, it is our distinct instructions that the vast majority of the said irregularities are well known to you and ANC leadership because they were repeatedly and exhaustively brought to the specific attention of the ANC and were never duly attended to, either at all or in a proper and satisfactory manner.”

Luthuli House was given until 25 June to nullify the conference results, organise a “legitimate” provincial conference, failing which, a court action would be launched against the governing party.

The May conference saw Mabuyane and provincial treasurer Madikizela in contention for the provincial chairperson position.

The race for leadership heated up after provincial legislature deputy speaker Mlibo Qoboshiyane withdrew from the running and decided to join Madikizela’s camp.

Mabuyane is a supporter of President Cyril Ramaphosa and his win was a boost for Ramaphosa’s quest for second term ahead of the party’s December national conference.

The president closed the conference, calling it “phenomenal.”

Phone calls and text messages to ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe went unanswered.

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