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//Kharas management committee case postponed

2021-08-06  Maria Amakali

//Kharas management committee case postponed

A case in which the chief magistrate, the Electoral Commission of Namibia’s regional coordinator and the minister of urban and rural development are asking the High Court to review, set aside and correct the election of the //Kharas Regional Council’s management committee, has been postponed.

The parties in the matter filed a joint status report, informing judge Collins Parker that the case was not ready for case management as scheduled yesterday. They further agreed for the applicants, chief magistrate Philanda Christiaan, ECN’s Augustinus Ucham and minister Erastus Uutoni to file papers on or before 13 August. 

The //Kharas chief regional officer and the management committee and National Council members will have two weeks to file their replying documents, and thereafter a status hearing will be scheduled.

The case was referred for case management when the court on 30 June ruled that the matter did not meet the requirements to be heard urgently.

In their application, Christiaan, Ucham and Uutoni are asking the court to set aside the elections of the management committee and National Council members of the //Kharas Regional Council held on 2 December 2020, and have the processes start afresh.

In her affidavit, Christiaan is claiming to have discovered on 9 April that there had been irregularities with the election of the region’s leadership. 

“In terms of section 18(2)(a) of the Act, the management committee members are to be elected before the meeting proceeds to dispatch any other business,” said Christiaan, further stating that magistrate Unchen Konjore, who presided over the elections, should have indicated that no other business could take place in the absence of a fully constituted management committee. 

Thus, the elections of the National Council members amount to a nullity, said Christiaan.

She also claims the meeting, which took place on 9 April, at which Gerrit Witbooi and Anseline Beukes were elected as members of the management committee and which was not attended by the three Swapo councillors, was illegal as the Regional Councils’ Act prohibits a management committee member from also serving in the National Council.

In response, Joseph Isaacks, chairperson of the //Kharas Regional Council, said Christiaan based the whole application on hearsay and opinion, and has no personal knowledge of what transpired.

He indicated that the review application should have been directed to him first as the chairperson of the //Kharas Regional Council for the remedy sought.

2021-08-06  Maria Amakali

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