ANC member takes legal action against ‘flawed’ PR list

Mahmood Oumar is taking the ANC to court for removing his name from the 2021 PR councillor list. | SUPPLIED

Mahmood Oumar is taking the ANC to court for removing his name from the 2021 PR councillor list. | SUPPLIED

Published Dec 23, 2023


Durban — While political parties gear up for next year’s general elections, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal will face legal action from one of its members over the 2021 local government elections proportional representative list.

Pietermaritzburg-based ANC member Mahmood Oumar will head to court to demand that his party rectify its pro-African deployment of members to municipal council positions.

Oumar claimed the “racially and gender-based” system cost him a proportional representative position at the Msunduzi council. This was despite receiving significant nominations from ANC members in Ward 35 ahead of the local government elections.

“I was number four on the list but they changed the list to accommodate the current mayor and the deputy mayor and they said they needed women and they added women that were not even on the list,” said Oumar.

Ward 35 consists of Sobantu, Lincoln Meade, Mountain Rise and Willowton.

He said the ANC had excluded most members of minority groups, coloured, Indian and white, from the council.

“The ANC is a democratic party and if you look at the pattern where minorities have been excluded, are you telling me this is democracy?

“We will be heading to court although I am not sure which day and we will be making an urgent application to remove lots of them from the council,” said Oumar.

ANC provincial spokesperson Mafika Mndebele said the party would attend to the matter, but did not say when.

Mndebele said he was unaware of other party members who, like Oumar, were aggrieved after being removed from the list.

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri did not respond to requests for comment.

Oumar, who claimed he performed “excellently” as a councillor between 2016 and 2021 when he served on finance, sustainable development and community service portfolio committees, said the party had violated its own policy of accommodating minority groups in its council.

He accused the party of mistreating its members.

“The ANC has left out almost all Indian people and it is expecting the Indian people to support the ANC in the next elections,’’ he said.

Oumar’s lawyer, Muzi Ntanzi of Ntanzi Attorneys, had written to ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo and the Moses Mabhida Regional executive committee on November 23 notifying them of the pending legal action.

In the letter, Ntanzi said his client had two years ago, just before the 2021 local government elections, registered his dispute with the ANC regarding how the PEC, then led by Sihle Zikalala as the provincial chairperson and Mdumiseni Ntuli as the provincial secretary, had handled the PR list.

“We further place it on record that our client was nominated as a PR (councillor) in Ward 35 and was supported by other branches of the ANC within the Moses Mabhida Region.”

Ntanzi said Oumar had not taken the legal route before now because the ANC had committed itself to rectify flaws in the nomination process, and the dispute had been registered with the ANC before the Local Government Elections in 2021.

He accused the regional task team (RTT), which was at the time running the region in the absence of elected REC, of having failed to endorse a proportional list favoured by the branches, and instead created its own list.

In addition to reporting the matter to Mbalula, Oumar also complained to former president Kgalema Motlante, who is the head of the party’s national dispute resolution committee.

“He has been told that the matter had been referred to the provincial committee of the ANC... to date, nothing has been done to address the matter,” said Ntanzi.

Ntanzi said Oumar would approach the court armed with correspondence dating back to September 2021 to “demonstrate in our application to court that our client had exhausted all the internal remedies that are provided within the organisation”.

Sunday Tribune