Judgment reserved on ANCYL conference ruling

PREMIUM

Legal eagles went toe to toe on technical issues in the Mthatha high court this week, arguing for and against leave to appeal the decision that set aside an ANC Youth League region’s elective conference in September.
The league’s former Amathole regional task team (RTT) co-ordinator, Mputumi Duba, approached the court in October on an urgent basis, asking it to set aside the region’s conference, which was held in Ngqushwa.
In November, judge Mbulelo Jolwana Duba ruled in Duba’s favour and set aside the conference, the resolutions made there and the elections as well.
Duba, citing the league and 20 others including national ANCYL chairperson Collen Maine as respondents, had accused them of convening the elective conference “incorrectly”.
Duba’s counsel, Yanga Malunga, had argued: “Congress failed to comply with its own constitution. [Duba] should have been there because he had voting rights. But instead bouncers stopped him from getting inside.”
Jolwana had heard that Duba was no longer a member of the league because his membership had lapsed when he turned 35, as per its constitution. He is now 37.
In his application for leave to appeal, advocate Lusindiso Matotie, who is counsel for two of the respondents, argued that Jolwana erred in his ruling.
“The jurisdiction issue was not ventilated fully. He [Duba] told the court that his interest in the matter was his right to participate and vote.
“If that is the case, that right was not breached in the jurisdiction of this court because the conference was in Ngqushwa.
“On locus standi [the right or capacity to bring an action or to appear in a court], the court has since found out that he is not a member of the league, which diminishes further his application. He brought this case to court as an individual and not as the collective RTT,” said Matotie. But Malunga argued that the court was bound by the jurisdiction which it accepted at the beginning of the case.
“Duba is a member of the RTT of the Amathola region and the Mthatha high court has jurisdiction over some parts of that region. It is only consequential that his interest emanates from the conference.
“At all times, members of the RTT protect the interests of the members,” he said.
Judgment was reserved...

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