S. Africa's ANC to Hold Special NEC Meeting After Court Rulings

(Bloomberg) -- The top-decision making structure of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress will hold a special meeting following three court rulings on Friday which likely disqualified more than 100 delegates who were scheduled to vote at a party leadership conference this weekend.

The party has called a meeting of its National Executive Committee to discuss the judgments, spokesman Zizi Kodwa said by phone. The meeting will start at 8am Saturday at Nasrec, the exhibition center in Johannesburg where the ANC’s elective conference will also kick off.

The courts’ decisions on party members in North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provinces, which mainly support Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife and preferred candidate, added to disarray in the fractious race to succeed South African Zuma as leader of the ANC. Her main rival is Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The race to win the support of about 5,000 delegates at the weekend’s conference has caused deep rifts in the ANC, weighed on the rand and nation’s bonds and unnerved investors seeking political and policy clarity. The rand has strengthened in recent days on confidence that Ramaphosa is leading the race and gained as much as 2.6 percent against the dollar on Friday in Johannesburg.

“The ANC’s conference has now drifted into very dangerous waters following today’s three court judgments,” independent political analyst Melanie Verwoerd, a former ANC lawmaker, said by phone. “The party will now have to navigate between saving the conference from total collapse and ensuring that if it goes ahead that the outcome is not challenged and overturned in court.”

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