Free State ANC files ConCourt appeal in defiance of NWC decision

Ace Magashule. Image credit: Twitter/ANC

The Free State ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) has filed an appeal at the Constitutional Court against a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling that declared the 2018 provincial conference unlawful and unconstitutional.

This is in direct defiance of a decision by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) earlier this month calling for a political solution.

“The NWC endorsed the recommendation by the National Officials that priority must be given to pursuing political solutions that will build a united and vibrant ANC in the Free State,” a statement by the party said on April 14.

The NWC also requested former ANC Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to “lead engagements aimed at building a united structure in the province.”

SCA ‘committed errors of law’

However, the PEC, through its chairperson Sam Mashinini has now asked the Constitutional Court to set aside the SCA ruling.

“The SCA has committed material errors of fact and law. The judgment of the SCA is riddled with factual errors, an indication of its failure to apply its mind to the facts,” Mashinini wrote in his founding affidavit.

According to a TimesLIVE report, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule has also filed a confirmatory affidavit in support of the PEC’s application.

The embattled Magashule is the former Free State ANC chairperson and draws strong political support from the province. Analysts believe a disbandment of the current PEC would weaken this support.

His support for the appeal is the latest instance of him being at odds with his fellow leaders in the Top 6, NWC and National Executive Committee (NEC).

Step-aside policy

Earlier this month, he issued a letter to provinces asking them to provide lists of party members who have been implicated, alleged or charged with corruption and other serious crimes for purposes of implementing the party’s step-aside policy.

This was in contrast to an NEC decision that narrowed the policy to those who have been charged in a court of law. The NWC subsequently corrected Magashule’s letter in its statement.

Magashule, who is out on R200,000 bail after appearing in court on corruption charges in November last year and February this year, is among those affected by the policy.

ANC National Chairperson Gwede Mantashe told Sunday Times last weekend that Magashule’s letter was an attempt to “take the whole party down with him.”

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