Muhammad Khalid Sayed.
Attempts by a group of disgruntled ANC Youth League members in the Western Cape to stop regional congresses taking place this weekend failed.

This after seven members of the league approached the Western Cape High Court on Friday with an urgent application to interdict congresses taking place in Dullah Omar and Boland regions on Friday and Saturday.

The applicants claim that provincial executive committee members who are organising the conferences have no mandate to do so since their term expired in February .

The applicants also sought to nullify two other congresses that took place in the Karoo and Southern Cape two weeks ago.

The group alleges that the congresses are being rushed through without the consent or knowledge of the branches in order to organise a provincial congress that would see the current leadership re-elected.

In their founding affidavit, the applicants asked the court to declare the current leadership an unlawful and illegitimate structure; to invalidate all the decisions they have taken since February, and order that the ANCYL national executive committee steps in and oversees a provincial congress where a new PEC could be elected.

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Advocate Siboniso Khoza, who represented the applicants, argued that attempts to rectify the matter using the party’s internal mechanisms failed on a number of occasions.

Advocate Adrian Montzinger argued that the applicants had plenty of time from February to sort out these issues and cannot approach the court at the last minute seeking an order to halt congresses that had already begun.

Judge Patric Gamble denied the applicants an interdict but gave the go-ahead for a hearing to take place on Friday to determine whether the current PEC was legitimate.

Were he to find in favour of the applicants, decisions taken from the four congresses that would have already taken place would have to be scrapped.

The main applicant, Luvuyo Mpofu, a member of the very PEC he wants removed, said: “We came to court as branch members and PEC members of the ANCYL because there has been great concern around the legitimacy of the executive members of the PEC.

“When their term came to an end in February, the tradition of the ANC is that they are given a three-month grace period to prepare the province to go to congress.

"That did not happen and we exhausted all internal measures through letters to the NEC, branches wrote to the NEC complaining about this matter but noting happened.

“Two weeks ago, comrades convened two congresses in the Karoo and Southern Cape with no mandate and without branch meetings held.

"We have affidavits from branches that had delegates from their branch going to represent them at regional congress when they did not know about it.

“We did not get the interdict but we have five days in order to prepare to state our case why this PEC should be removed.”

Chairperson of the ANCYL Muhammad Khalid Sayed said members would wait until proceedings on Friday to argue their case.

“What we are opposed to is when courts are used to settle internal matters. The Chief Justice even warned against using courts for political issues.

“But as a youth league in a province where the ANC does not govern, does not run a single municipality, and cannot even have a ward councillor in areas where needed and we have members who are more worried about which structure is legitimate and which is not, is really worrying.

"I think the courts have better things to do and we as the ANCYL do not encourage this kind of behaviour.”

Weekend Argus