Smith-Howard threatens to sue IPC

06 December 2021 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

Beleaguered Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) Swakopmund constituency councillor Ciske Smith-Howard has threatened to drag the party to court over her unceremonious suspension and restraint from her duties as councillor and Erongo regional council chairperson.

Her lawyers, Weder, Kauta and Hoveka Inc, wrote to the IPC this month to inform them that their client has every intention to fight the suspension through the High Court if the party fails to present them with the outcome of the investigation committee.

Smith-Howard accused the party of subjecting her to a four-hour interrogation on a broad range of issues, most of which did not cover the issues raised in her suspension letter served to her in October.

The interrogation was reportedly conducted by a committee that has to date failed to communicate its outcome.

Through her lawyers, she also demanded the minutes of the IPC steering committee or another committee where the investigation committee was established.

They also demanded that her verbal suspension by party president, Dr Panduleni Itula, as well as a subsequent suspension letter be withdrawn.

Untenable

“We point out that the IPC’s decisions were taken without notice to Ciske Smith-Howard and without any considerations of the fact that Smith-Howard is a public[ally] elected official. We point out that the decisions are in violation of the IPC constitution, given that our client has yet to be found guilty of any wrongdoing.

“We point out that [the] IPC national committee did not establish and/or authorise the investigation committee,” the lawyers wrote.

They also said the situation has become untenable and amounts to unfair treatment and that the party’s conduct has already negatively affected Smith-Howard’s ability to perform her duties as a public officer in the Erongo Region.

IPC spokesperson Imms Nashinge said the party’s position is clear on the matter and they have a capable system in place which deals their internal matters.

“The letter is a non-issue to IPC,” he said.

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