Mantashe pours cold water on questions about court rulings' impact

The party's secretary general Gwede Mantashe says the outcome of those cases will have no impact on the credentials stage of the conference where the legitimacy of branch delegates will be confirmed.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa brief the media on the party's state of readiness for the 54th national conference. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC)'s long-awaited national conference starts on Saturday following three damning court rulings.

The party's secretary general Gwede Mantashe says the outcome of those cases will have no impact on the credentials stage of the conference where the legitimacy of branch delegates will be confirmed.

Mantashe was speaking at the final state of readiness briefing just minutes before rulings in three different courts were handed down.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the Pietermaritzburg High Court has ordered that the provincial executive immediately vacate office pending the outcome of an appeal process.

While in the Free State this week’s provincial elective conference was deemed unlawful.

And in the North West, the Bohjanala regional gathering and its 32 branch general meetings were set aside.

Mantashe poured cold water on questions about just how badly Friday’s court rulings will impact on the conference.

“If that judgment nullifies a regional conference, it has no impact on the credentials because regions have no voting right in the conference.”

The secretary general says they will only appeal outcomes that directly ban branch delegates from attending the conference, which in this case is the Free State.

The credentials phase is expected to be the most drawn out part of the gathering where the two main factions likely to fight to get their delegates in and their opponents out.