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Lawyers on standby as opposing factions attempt to resolve missing votes dispute

The dispute over the votes for the position of ANC secretary-general is set to be laid before delegates at a plenary session on Tuesday evening.

FILE: Members of the ANC sing and dance outside the plenary at the #ANC54 in Nasrec on 16 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Opposing factions are attempting to resolve a dispute internally over numbers in the voting for the African National Congress (ANC)’s leadership positions before turning to the courts.

But Eyewitness News understands lawyers have been put on standby if the matter cannot be resolved internally.

There is currently an investigation underway into claims that some of the votes for the secretary general position disappeared.

The ANC has been at pains to insist that the courts should not be brought into internal ANC affairs at the national elective conference.

It’s understood Advocate Dali Mpofu has been placed on standby to take this disagreement to court. But parties want to resolve the matter internally without resorting to litigation.

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos says according to the party’s constitution, the electoral commission should settle disputes.

“In terms of the ANC constitution, the electoral commission of the ANC is supposed to run the elections, so they can make decisions about this. I’d assume that everybody would like to solve the issue through the election commission. It would only be the last resort if somebody wants to go to court.”

President Jacob Zuma was very outspoken during his political address, saying the party should not turn to the courts to settle internal matters.

The dispute over the votes for the position of ANC secretary general is set to be laid before delegates at a plenary session on Tuesday evening.

The conference’s steering committee has been grappling with the issue behind closed doors.

It’s unclear whether or not a political solution has been found.

If not, there could be fireworks in the plenary on Tuesday evening.