Port Elizabeth - The East London High Court on Monday struck from the roll an urgent application brought to challenge the outcome of the African National Congress Eastern Cape elective conference.
The application, brought by five disgruntled ANC members, sought interim relief in order to bring to a halt the eighth provincial conference until certain alleged disputes were fully resolved.
The disgruntled members claimed that they had been illegally excluded and were not given a fair opportunity to present their appeals during the conference.
The provincial conference descended into chaos on Saturday night and at least eight delegates were injured when ANC members turned on each other over disagreements about the adoption of credentials for delegates.
A number of delegates stormed out of the conference venue after midnight, alleging that they were being assaulted with chairs and “other dangerous objects” by the supporters of then ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane.
Mabuyane has since been elected as the party's provincial chairman at the conference which ended on Sunday.
He pulled in 931 votes against Phumulo Masualle’s total of seven votes.
On Monday, Judge Belinda Hartle said that the application had not been properly enrolled before the court and the respondents’ rights had been compromised.
Her judgment reads: "The applicants appear to have missed the plain objective of my directive, which was to ensure that, notwithstanding the very tight time constraints, the respondents should not be taken by surprise and at least have an opportunity to prepare a brief response. If their failure to issue out the application promptly was not deliberate, they acquiesced in my view in losing the supposed urgency of the matter."
Hartle also ordered that the applicants pay the costs of the application.
Hartle stated that it was unnecessary to decide the merits of the application because the case of urgency was not made out. However, she made it possible for the disgruntled ANC members to challenge her ruling, giving them permission to take her findings on review.