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ANC Youth League president Julius Malema was described as an “embarrassment to the country” during a battle in the Grahamstown High Court yesterday.
This came during an urgent application in which the Eastern Cape provincial executive committee (PEC) of the ANC Youth League took the national ANC Youth League to court.
The provincial executive asked the court to interdict the national youth league from holding a congress in Grahamstown tomorrow, at which they plan to elect a new provincial leadership.
A decision will be delivered today.
They further asked the court to set aside an earlier decision by the national youth league structure to disband the Eastern Cape PEC.
The PEC accuses the national youth league of purposefully disbanding them in June in order to make sure that Malema is re-elected as president of the youth league for a second term.
According to court documents, the majority of the members of the PEC do not support Malema’s re-election.
They label Malema an “embarrassment to most of the members of the PEC, the ANC and members of the broader republic of South Africa”.
The PEC’s legal representative, advocate James Heunis, said the national executive council (NEC) of the ANC Youth League did not have the authority to disband the PEC.
He asked the court to bar the national youth league from staging the congress because they did not have the power to convene a provincial congress.
“The fear is that this congress will be loaded with delegates who favour a Malema leadership.
“The registration process at the congress will be influenced so as to secure the future leadership of Malema.”
Heunis further said the inappropriate interference of the national ANC Youth League was part and parcel of a political strategy to achieve a result which would see a majority of Malema supporters attend the congress and then vote into power a PEC that would secure Malema’s leadership.
“They are going to manipulate the process. They have to be stopped from hijacking the congress,” said Heunis. Referring to Malema as “that naughty boy”, advocate Richard Quinn, on behalf of the national youth league, said he found the application somewhat bizarre.
He said he was confused as to how the case worked because if one looked at it the parties were seeking relief against themselves because they were one organisation.
Quinn said under its constitution, the national youth league did in fact have the power to oversee the provincial congress.
“The PEC has in the past proven that they are incapable of running a congress and that is why the NEC exercised their powers by disbanding the PEC and organising the congress themselves.
“A list of pre-determined delegates who will be entitled to vote was already decided upon in May.
“This list of delegates has been audited and approved. They will vote in accordance with a decision by their branches.”
Quinn blasted the allegation that delegates would be denied their right to vote for the candidate of their choice. “You don’t hang out your dirty washing and run to court to fight against yourself,” said Quinn.
He asked that both applications by the PEC be dismissed.
Justice Thami Beshe will deliver a decision today.