Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court will on Wednesday rule on the contested Free State ANC provincial executive committee, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said.

“The order will be handed down tomorrow at 10 (am) to be followed by our reasons, which as you know require more time to be worked on,” he said on Tuesday.

This was after the court expressed surprise that the PEC's lawyer was not able to argue the merits of the case.

The court had allowed a short adjournment to allow Majel Wessels to take instructions from his clients, after he told the court that he had only expected to have to oppose the group's application for leave to appeal to the court.

The judges also wanted to know why the PEC had never filed affidavits saying why they opposed the application.

They asked why the PEC had been confirmed by the national executive committee of the ANC, even though it knew there was a court challenge.

Justice Zac Yacoob said the ANC had said in an affidavit it had an inquiry into the matter and had cleared the PEC, so information on the process of electing the PEC should be available.

Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke asked whether the date set for the ANC's elective conference in December was firmly set, and Mpofu said it was.

The judges earlier questioned whether it would not be better to hear the merits of the case before the conference.

They asked how long it would take for both sides to file papers on the merits to the Constitutional Court.

Wessels said they would move quickly to do so and Mpofu said his side could do so in 24 hours.

Mpofu had said it would be preferable to hear the case in the Constitutional Court.

There was a risk that whatever the finding in a lower court, it would go to the Constitutional Court and there was not enough time for this ahead of the Mangaung conference.

He said as the ANC had said it had already done an investigation, it should just be matter of filing the information they had with the court. - Sapa