The African National Congress (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal's provincial executive committee (PEC) is considering approaching the Supreme Court of Appeal after the High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday ruled that the party’s 8th provincial elective conference results were unlawful and invalid.
Speaking outside the court on Monday morning, provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said "democrats" must respect the fact that one layer of court might come to one conclusion and another a different one.
Ntuli said they were taken to court by those who were aggrieved and unhappy with the outcome of the conference and who felt that the court of law was the right platform through which to resolve their grievances.
"Equally so, they must afford the leadership of the ANC [time] to apply its mind to make its own determination, informed by both political consideration as well as what is available in terms of the content of the judgment. The law will allow us to take the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal," he said.
ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told News24 that the party had noted the ruling and would also study it to determine its "impact politically".
"Remember this has happened before with the Free State, which was taken to court ahead of the 2012 Mangaung conference - that matter was taken to the Constitutional Court.
"At the time, we put together a team to take the province to conference because there were reasons. We don't know the reasons this time, hence we say, we will study the judgment so that we can take further decisions," Kodwa said.
The case was brought by ANC councillor Lawrence Dube and four others in May 2016, following results which saw former premier Senzo Mchunu being ousted as provincial chairperson and being replaced by Sihle Zikalala.
They claim the conference was not only held prematurely, but that it was riddled with irregularities and the results were rigged.
Zikalala received 780 votes, while Mchunu got 675 votes, in a process where 1 459 delegates voted.
Zikalala, his deputy Willies Mchunu, the ANC itself, the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, and other top ANC figures are the respondents in the matter.