Magashule to remain ANC secretary-general as vote discrepancy clarified

Sources have told Eyewitness News that Senzo Mchunu will only be given 15 out of the 68 omitted votes.

Ace Magashule (right) after the announcement of the ANC's new top 6 on 18 December 2017. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Sources have told Eyewitness News that Senzo Mchunu will only be given 15 out of the 68 omitted votes.

This means Ace Magashule remains as African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general.

A formal announcement is expected to be made inside plenary.

Former KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu has lost the fight over 68 votes that could have won him a spot on the ANC's top six.

Mchunu's camp raised the issue after it emerged that Ace Magashule was elected secretary-general by a margin of just 24 votes.

The 68 votes were not counted because of an agreement between the ANC's electoral commission and party bosses to resolve a credentials dispute.

Mchunu's side agreed to ring-fence the 68 votes because his camp believed that he had enough support to become secretary-general of the ANC.

But that's not how things turned out.

A steering committee of the ANC has been dealing with the dispute over the 68 votes since Tuesday.

Eyewitness News understands that a decision was taken to disqualify most of the votes.

Just 15 have been deemed valid. It's unclear how this decision was reached.

This means Mchunu won't have enough ballots to dislodge Ace Magashule.

Mchunu's camp is stunned by this decision and it appears his side may be heading to court to challenge it.

Meanwhile, the conference is set to face yet another hurdle, with reports that attorneys for aggrieved members are preparing to go to court to challenge the party’s position related to the unaccounted for ballots.

The grounds for the court challenge are not clear, nor is it known when or which parties will approach the High Court.

Sources have told EWN that the African National Congress (ANC) leadership will tell the plenary that Senzo Mchunu only received 15 out of the 68 uncounted votes, so it does not affect Ace Magashule’s position as secretary-general.

The agreement was that these votes would be sealed and set aside.

It’s understood that the party has reached a political agreement on the way forward but with the prospect of court action, it appears not everyone agrees with this approach.