Johannesburg - The parties involved in a challenge to the election of the ANC Free State's provincial executive committee were ordered by the Constitutional Court to prepare for a hearing on November 29.

In an order handed down by the court on Wednesday, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng ordered that the merits of the application before the High Court in Bloemfontein would be heard at 10am or as soon as possible thereafter.

All the respondents who would have opposed the matter in the High Court are required to file opposing papers by Monday November 26.

Replying papers must be filed by November 27.

Applicants or any respondents wishing to present oral argument are to file those by Wednesday November 28.

“Written reasons will be provided in due course,” said Mogoeng.

The court heard an urgent appeal on Tuesday by six Free State ANC members who claimed that the provincial executive committee (PEC) was not properly elected.

They wanted the court to declare null and void the provincial elective conference held in June.

The six had asked the Free State High Court to grant an order to stop provincial African National Congress leader Ace Magashule and the PEC from working.

They also wanted the court to order the national ANC to dissolve the Free State PEC, appoint an interim management structure and annul the province's nominations for the ANC elective conference in Mangaung in December.

However, the high court refused to hear the merits of the case and dismissed the application with costs.

That court said the group's publication of notice of its application was irregular and materially defective.

The six contended that the high court's reasons were not sufficient for it to deny them the right to have the case heard. - Sapa