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Ntamo v African National Congress Regional Executive Committee, OR Tambo Region and Others (1693/17) [2017] ZAECGHC 111

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Ntamo v African National Congress Regional Executive Committee, OR Tambo Region and Others (1693/17) [2017] ZAECGHC 111

20th October 2017

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[1] This is an application for leave to appeal against the judgment of this court non-suiting the applicant and Mr Mlandeli Ndabetha (the second applicant in the proceedings from which this application arises, who is otherwise not featuring in the instant application) on the ground that they had inordinately delayed before launching their application challenging the conference of the O R Tambo of the African National Congress held on 16 to 18 September 2015 and the decisions taken thereat, delivered on 26 September 2017 (the main application).

[2] Apart from the preliminary issue that was raised by the respondents that the applicants lacked the requisite locus standi  to launch the main application, which did not prevail, the parties had, somewhat tentatively, been of the view that, on the merits, the main application was beset by a dispute of fact hard to resolve on the papers.  The merits of the main application were, however, not gone into, the court having been of the view that the applicants had not explained the delay and in the exercise of its discretion not seen its way clear in overlooking the delay.

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[3] The leave to appeal application is predicated on the ground that there is a reasonable prospect of another court finding that the applicant had not unreasonably delayed alternatively, conducting a broader enquiry that takes into account the constitutional considerations such as, inter alia, the importance of the protection of the rights enshrined in section 19 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 108 of 1996 than just merely whether the delay had been explained.

[4] The parties did not lock horns in relation to the test formulated in section 17 of the Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013; the test has now become more onenous as leave may only be given where the judge concerned is of the opinion that the appeal would have a reasonable prospect of success or there is some other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard.[1] Use of “only” in the section is a further indication of a more stringent test.

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