ANC members Vilanculo Francisco and Edward Mahlangu have launched an urgent court interdict in a last attempt to stop the conference.
In court papers dated March 31, the pair want the court to review and set aside the conference invitation sent out by provincial task team co-ordinator Lindiwe Ntshalintshali on March 22.
Ntshalintshali and Mandla Ndlovu were appointed co-ordinator and convener of the task team along with others earlier this month when the ANC national working committee (NWC) dissolved the provincial executive committee. They were given a mandate to take the province to its next elective conference.
The NWC said it had opted for the dissolution of the PEC after it failed to convene a conference since the departure of then provincial chairperson David Mabuza. The province last held its conference in 2015.
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In their court interdict, Franscisco and Mahlangu argue that the appointment of the task team by the NWC was unlawful as the structure does not have such powers.
They want the court to declare that “only the NEC of the ANC has powers to dissolve the PEC structures of the ANC” and that only the NEC can therefore appoint a task team.
Some of their requests to the court include:
declaring that the effective date for the appointment of the Mpumalanga task team is the period of March 25 to 27 2022;
setting aside the road map put in place in 2021 by the previous disbanded provincial executive structure of the Mpumalanga province;
declaring that the NEC failed in its fiduciary duty when it failed to set aside the road map put in place by an illegitimate previous PEC structure;
reviewing and setting aside all decisions taken by the disbanded [structure] after its term of office had expired but limiting the order only to those decisions connected to the provincial elective conference;
reviewing and setting aside all the decisions made by the Mpumalanga task team after it was “illegally appointed” by the NWC on March 2 2022; or
alternatively, an order interdicting the Mpumalanga ANC provincial elective conference scheduled for April 1 to 3 2022 at the Witbank Dam, Emalahleni; and
that the balance of the issues be remitted to the first and second respondents [ANC and ANC NEC] for reconsideration.
The road to the conference has been rocky. Recently the provincial offices were set alight while some of its branch meetings have been marred by violence.
In terms of the conference, Ndlovu and Ntshalintshali are said to be front-runners for the influential positions of chairperson and deputy chairperson, while murder-accused Mandla Msibi is contesting the position of provincial treasurer.
Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane is also said to be contesting the chairperson position.