There was no need for the labour department to have hastily deregistered the Communications Workers Union (CWU) as the union's appeal could be heard expeditiously, the Labour Court said on Friday.

The court ordered that the appeal against the decision of the department to cancel the registration of the CWU be set down for hearing on September 20.

CWU would file its heads of arguments by September 6 and the department would file its response by September 13.

The labour department's decision to deregister the union was suspended pending the determination of the appeal.

CWU said in a statement: “The union is alive. We know that this outcome will disappoint many within and outside our ranks, and we will continue to soldier on as victory remains certain.”

The labour department terminated CWU's legal status on July 25.

It was reported that CWU's troubles began in November when the department accused it of contravening sections 98, 99 and 100 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) by failing to provide financial statements since 2006.

CWU also reportedly ceased to function in terms of its constitution.

On August 2, the court set aside the decision by the department to deregister the union. It further stopped the department from publishing the deregistration of the union in the Government Gazette after an urgent interdict by the CWU.

Efforts to obtain comment from the department were unsuccessful. - Sapa