The ANC Youth League's message of support reached the printers too late to be included in the ANC's centenary support message booklet, spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said on Monday.
"You cannot print what you do not have … Comrade Jesse Duarte tried her best, but it missed the printing," said Mthembu.
He said the ANC received all except the ANC Women's League and youth league messages by the January 3 deadline.
However, league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said that as far as he understood, no request was made for a message in a booklet.
Shivambu declined to discuss the matter further, saying only that the "booklet issue" was probably an "oversight" in the ANC's communication section.
The ANC indicated before the centenary celebrations that no messages of support would be delivered at the January 8 event at the Free State stadium.
Party president Jacob Zuma would be the only speaker and the usual messages of support, by the leagues and the alliance partners, would be included in a booklet to be distributed.
The women's league and the youth league were then apparently asked to make their messages available before January 4, when the booklet was scheduled to be printed.
Mthembu said the women's league submitted a written message, but that the youth league's message was ready only on January 4. The printer was called to try and include the youth league message, but it was too late.
"The printer said it was too late, so what can you do?"
The booklet was handed out to the media while Zuma delivered his speech on Sunday.
It contains the full statement of the ANC national executive committee for the centenary celebration and messages of support from the ANCWL, ANC Veterans' League, the SA Communist Party, the Congress of SA Trade Unions and SA National Civic Organisation.
The youth league did issue a statement to the media on Sunday containing its message of support. — Sapa