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LPM ordered to reinstate recalled councillors

2021-09-27  Maria Amakali

LPM ordered to reinstate recalled councillors
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The High Court has ordered the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) to reinstate two of its Mariental local authority councillors, which the party recalled in February this year. 

On Friday, Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula declared the LPM’s committee’s decision to recall its members Daniel Gariseb and Rogetha Haack as null and void. The court directed the LPM to reinstate the two as local authority councillors at Mariental. 

Gariseb and Haack had approached the High Court after the party recalled them on 25 February. 

The two claimed that they were never afforded the opportunity to be heard as the party allegedly failed to follow proper guidelines. They further claimed that the decision was unfair. 

“No reasons were advanced for the decision to withdraw us as councillors, nor were we afforded the opportunity to present our case at a disciplinary hearing”, said Gariseb in his affidavit. 

During a meeting in February, the two were accused of taking bribes in respect of the sale of land by the local authority. They were also accused of being ‘power-hungry’, colluding with Swapo members, and blocking the appointment of an assistant to Mariental mayor Adam Kuhlman. 

Haack was furthermore accused of having “a big head now that she was in a position of power” and receiving sexual favours, meat and money as bribes – without further details being given. In their court documents, Gariseb and Haack argued that as per the party’s constitution, a disciplinary committee was supposed to be appointed to investigate the allegations levelled against them. 

But such was not done, and they were notified in March of the party’s decision to recall them as councillors. The two were replaced with fellow party members, Frensis Gawases and Andy Boois, without further affording Gariseb and Hack a period of 20 days to appeal the party’s decision to recall them as stipulated in the party’s constitution. 

The court granted the orders sought by Gariseb and Haack after the LPM failed to file relevant documents, despite having filed a notice of their intent to oppose the application. In their suit, Gariseb and Haack were represented by Richard Metcalfe.

2021-09-27  Maria Amakali

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