//Karas election remains valid

06 July 2021 | Justice

MARC SPRINGER

WINDHOEK

Chief Magistrate Philanda Christiaan has failed in her bid to have the election of the //Karas Regional Council's management committee and the region's National Council members declared invalid.

Her application to that effect was dismissed by the High Court in a ruling delivered by Judge Collins Parker on Wednesday, stating the matter was not urgent.

He pointed out that applicants, who also included the minister of urban and rural development, Erastus Uutoni, failed to set out why they could not be afforded substantial redress if the case was heard in the ordinary course.

Not urgent

He further concluded that the alleged urgency claimed by plaintiffs was self-created. After all, Christiaan had stated in her founding papers that she discovered the alleged irregularities complained of on 9 April 2021 but waited till 11 June before approaching the court "at breakneck speed" seeking redress.

Since the plaintiffs failed to explain that delay, their application was destined to fail for lack of urgency.

In their application heard on 18 June, the plaintiffs attempted to have the management committee and National Council elections of the //Karas Regional Council held on 2 December last year declared null and void.

They further tried to have the region's three members in the National Council - Gerrit Witbooi, Anseline Beukes and Jeremias Goeieman - restrained from carrying out any mandate and to prevent the //Karas management committee from implementing any decisions.

In her affidavit, Christiaan claimed to have discovered serious irregularities during the elections.

She insisted that in terms of the relevant Act the councilĀ“s management committee members had to be elected before the council could proceed to any other business.

Since two positions remained vacant when the management committee was chosen on 2 December, the subsequent election of LPM members Witbooi, Beukes and Goeieman to represent the region in the National Council was invalid, she argued.

Christiaan further claimed that it was irregular to allow Witbooi and Beukes as members of the management committee to serve on the National Council too.

As such, she continued, the current management committee was an illegal entity from its inception on 2 December last year, making all decisions taken since then null and void.

Attorneys Jabulani Ncube and Monique Meyer represented the plaintiffs while Gerson Narib and Patrick Kauta acted for the respondents.