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By Getrude Makhafola

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ANC Mpumalanga: Members file papers to interdict conference

The applicants also want the appointment of the Mpumalanga task team by the NWC nullified.

Two members of the ANC in Mpumalanga have filed papers in the high court to urgently interdict the provincial elective conference scheduled to be held in Emalahleni this coming weekend.

Fransisco Vilanculo and Edward Mahlangu filed their urgent application on Thursday, listing the ANC and its national executive committee (NEC), the national working committee (NWC) and the provincial task team as respondents.

In the papers, the duo argue that the NWC, which appointed the task team after provincial executive committee (PEC) was dissolved in February, had no constitutional power to do so.

Lindiwe Ntshalintshali is the convenor of the provincial task team.

They also want the high court to declare that only the NEC has powers to dissolve the PEC and appoint a task team, and not the NWC. Furthermore, the applicants want all decisions taken by Ntshalintshali and her team to be set aside.

ALSO READ: ANC Mpumalanga conference postponed again

The provincial ANC has been marred by public spats and factional battles that turned violent. The conference has been postponed several times before because of the internal divisions and allegations of vote rigging at branches.

The governing party is facing a mammoth task of qourating branches across provinces ahead of the December national conference.

Last week, Vilanculo told TV news channel Newzroom Afrika that he had been threatened with death after asking how Ntshalintshali’s husband Alpheus Ntshalintshali was elected branch chairperson when a meeting was never held by members.

“Not even one branch meeting was called…I am a branch member.  So who elected Alpheus Ntshalintshali because no one was there? When I asked questions I was told my head will soon be met with a bullet from a gun,” said Vilanculo, adding that he was in hiding.

READ MORE: Three-horse race for Mabuza’s former position

‘All systems go for conference’

Meanwhile, Ntshalintshali told the news channel on Thursday that all was set for the 13th provincial conference to take place between Friday and Sunday.

Mpumalanga has 400 branches, said Ntshalintsahli, and has met the threshold to hold the conference with 314 branches.

“That was signed off by the treasurer-general [Paul Mashatile] on behalf of the office of the secretary general. Comrades must learn that we adopt conference resolutions and there are guidelines on how we run conferences.

“The national dispute resolution committee is the final arbiter. Not everyone will be fully happy because branches differ on preferences, but we tried very hard as Mpumalanga to follow newly adopted guidelines on how we hold conferences.”

She said the application for an interdict was not an urgent matter, and the task team is opposing Vilanculo and Mahlangu’s court action.

“Once the court gives its decision, we will comply. It’s not the first time we’ve had court applications – remember in Mangaung 2012 and in Nasrec in 2017 the same things happened. We are saying we did our work procedurally and followed ANC processes, we are confident.”

‘The race to provincial chairperson

The Mpumalanga conference is two years overdue. It was last held in December 2015, and no elections were organised when the provincial executive committee’s (PEC) term expired in 2019.

Even the mid-term provincial general council to assess the party’s performance and fill the vacant chair position was skipped. Mandla Ndlovu had been the acting chair since David Mabuza left after his election as deputy president at Nasrec in 2017.

The potential main contenders are provincial secretary and acting provincial chair Ndlovu and Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, who is aligned to Mabuza.

In addition, Peter Nyoni, who had raised his hand as a third candidate promising to pursue ANC unity and renewal, was suspended by the task team earlier this month.

He butted heads with the task team, saying that it lacked inclusivity and doesn’t represent Mpumalanga ANC membership.

Mahlangu and Vilanculo’s application will be heard in the Gauteng division of the high court on Friday.

NOW READ: Mpumalanga ANCYL threatens to make province ungovernable over ‘corrupt eldership’

Additional reporting by Eric Naki.

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