An urgent application to interdict the Western Cape African National Congress Youth League's (ANCYL) provincial executive committee (PEC) has been struck off the roll of the Western Cape High Court due to a lack of urgency.
Seven members of the ANCYL in the province asked the court to urgently interdict the PEC from continuing to represent the structure, most notably at this weekend's national elective conference.
The Western Cape youth league is sending three delegates to the ANC's national elective conference to be held in Johannesburg from Saturday.
The provincial ANCYL's term expired in February this year and the applicants wanted all decisions taken by the structure since then to be declared null.
This would include the chosen delegates elected in November to attend the national conference.
Acting Judge Haley Slingers disagreed with the applicants' argument for urgency, saying they have had 10 months to raise the matter.
"That's not to say the applicants cannot contest the legitimacy of the PEC. They just cannot do it at this stage, having taken months to contest the legitimacy."
Possibility of conference court challenge
Slingers said they had also not responded to a request by the court to file reasons for urgency, and had not made a strong enough case for urgency in their founding affidavit.
The PEC argued in its answering affidavit that the urgency had been "self-created". There were also internal dispute mechanisms that should be utilised before approaching the courts, it said.
Advocate Sibonile Khoza, for the applicants, said a provincial task team should have been set up to handle all the provincial youth league's functions after its term expired, which had not happened.
He also said it was possible that, were the outcomes of an "illegitimate" provincial council to elect delegates allowed to stand, it could open the door for a court challenge of the national conference.
Slingers said that was being pre-emptive.
Opposing counsel could be seen laughing at the suggestion.
The merits of the case will likely only be heard in the new year on the normal court roll.
The Western Cape ANCYL meanwhile will hold its provincial elective congress on January 19, where it will elect new leadership, secretary Andile Mbali said last week.