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DA must take the Mazzone 'election' to court itself - Ramulifho

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DA must take the Mazzone 'election' to court itself - Ramulifho

17th April 2018

By: News24Wire


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Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng MPL Khume Ramulifho wants the party to go to court to challenge a federal legal commission (FLC) decision to "install" Natasha Mazzone as the second deputy chairperson of the federal council.

Ramulifho has written to federal executive council chair James Selfe to demand that the party go to the High Court to have the controversial decision reviewed.

In the April 16 letter, which was seen by News24, Ramulifho said that the court would clarify the powers of the congress compared to the FLC.

"The High Court will clarify whether any structure like [the] federal council or the FLC can declare [a] decision of the congress null and void and clarify the decision made by the FLC on this matter," Ramulifho wrote.

He has accused the party of overturning a congress decision that the position be filled at its federal council sitting in June.

At the congress on April 7, Ramulifho objected to the filling of the position and argued that voting happened on Sunday morning, before the congress had adopted the proposed amendment to add a second deputy.

'There was no objection'

He insisted that the congress agreed to defer the election of the second deputy to the next council meeting, which he claimed had powers to elect office bearers.

"After this issue was debated, federal congress agreed that federal council, at its next meeting, [would vote on this position]. There was no objection to this agreement, meaning the congress has agreed. There is no person or structure that can change this after the congress," Ramulifho stated in his letter to Selfe.

The FLC ruled on the matter after Mazzone and MP Kevin Mileham objected to what they called a "purported" congress decision.

It ruled that the congress had no legal power to defer the election of the deputy to the federal council and said the '"decision" must be deemed null and void.

Ramulifho was expected to take the decision to court but has since decided to exhaust internal processes instead.

Earlier, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the decision to appoint Mazzone stands.


He said the federal legal commission ruling could not be appealed within the party.

"[So] how that process unfolds further on is up to the people involved, to ask what is appealable and what is not. It won't be appealable internally," he said.

An unhappy member will therefore effectively have to go to court to challenge Mazzone's "election".

Maimane added that the federal executive and the federal council, which is due to sit in June, will meet to discuss the matter.

The DA used the ranking system to announce Mazzone's "election".  She had the second-highest number votes among the candidates that contested the decision.

"In order to seek clarity, the matter was taken to the federal legal commission, which resolved that the position of a second deputy chairperson of the federal council is to be filled by way of the results of the vote that took place on April 8, 2018, during federal congress," the party said in a statement last Friday.

Selfe added in a statement on Sunday that the "confusion" might have been created by the fact that the congress only announced results for one deputy, but that the council had decided before congress that delegates would vote for two deputies.



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