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Court stops NC by-elections

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“We have received the court order but we do not have any reasons on what brought the judge to his decision. We will study the judgment in order to understand the ruling”

WHILE a court order has instructed the ANC in the Northern Cape to reappoint two suspended Phokwane councillors, which also put a halt to by-elections in that area, the party has indicated that it is of the belief that the judgment is erroneous and will challenge the outcome.

This follows after the Gauteng High Court ruled in favour of an application brought by councillors Crockett Adams and Kgomotsego Mokale to have the by-elections postponed.

The court on Tuesday interdicted the by-elections that were scheduled to take place in the Phokwane Municipality yesterday.

The court order stated that the two officials should be reinstated as councillors at the Phokwane Municipality. It further instructed the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) not to proceed with the planned by-elections in the two municipal wards.

Mokale and Adams were expelled from the ANC on October 4 last year and their positions as councillors became vacant. The by-elections would have resulted in them being replaced as councillors.

ANC provincial secretary Deshi Ngxangxa said the party will study the judgment on the matter in order to understand the reasons that prompted the verdict.

“We have received the court order but we do not have any reasons on what brought the judge to his decision. We will study the judgment in order to understand the ruling,” Ngxangxa said.

He stated that although the ruling was positive for the two officials, the party would continue to oppose it.

“These two people have jumped the party’s procedures. We are of the opinion that we need to challenge this outcome. The constitution of the ANC states that members found guilty by a disciplinary committee should appeal to the next higher structure. The disciplinary hearing of the two comrades took place at regional level, the next higher structure is the provincial disciplinary committee and then the national disciplinary committee.”

Ngxangxa said that a letter from ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule could also have swayed the outcome of the matter.

“The letter was against the party’s constitution. This letter also seems to have added to the outcome of the case. If one should set the letter aside, then things might have turned out differently. We believe that the letter was clearly unconstitutional and if left unchallenged will create a dangerous precedent in the organisation.

“The provincial officials resolved to seek an audience with the national officials to explain the difficulty of accepting this court order. The provincial officials decided to urgently place the letter of the secretary-general on review. We are confident that the court will come to a different determination,” said Ngxanga.

In a supporting affidavit, which was attached by Adams on October 17, 2019, a letter from Magashule informed Ngxanga that Mokale and Adams had indicated to him that they would appeal their expulsion.

Magashule explained in the letter that the expulsions could not be effected and were suspended pending the appeal outcome by Adams and Mokale.

Magashule stated that the pair were of the view that the provincial disciplinary committee could be biased against them because of politics in the Province and, as such, did not believe that they would get a fair hearing.

In the circumstance, they have decided to lodge their appeal with the national disciplinary committee, Magashule said in the letter.

Adams and Mokale were expelled by the ANC’s Frances Baard regional disciplinary committee about a month after they were elected as mayor and Speaker respectively at the Phokwane Municipality.