//Kharas Regional Council faces legal action unless Swapo councillors are reinstated Erasmus Shalihaxwe

The Swapo party’s legal counsel, Sisa Namandje, has issued an ultimatum to the Chairperson of the //Kharas Regional Council, Joseph Isaacks, demanding the reinstatement of three ousted Swapo Party councillors by 10:00 today or face legal action.

In a letter sent yesterday, Namandje declared the Council’s decision to dismiss the councillors and terminate their membership, along with their benefits, as null and void.

This follows the announcement made by Isaacks last week that Swapo representatives in the //Karas Regional Council who are Lazarus Nangolo, Susanna Ndjaleka and Taimi Kanyemba were fired. Citing that the three politicians are not willing to serve in any council structure under the leadership of the Landless People’s Movement.

However, Namandje argued that the decision by the Council is hopelessly flawed both procedurally and substantively and that it is null and void because the Council has no legal and statutory power in terms of section 10 of the Act to relieve a regional councillor of responsibilities or to terminate a councillor’s membership.

He said Section 10(1) which Isaacks “slavishly and yet blindly” relied on simply provides for four sets of instances (provided that such has been established by the requirements of substantive and procedural law) in which a member of a regional council shall “vacate” (not be relieved of office) his/her office by resigning by way of writing, under his/her hand, a letter addressed to the chief regional officer of the concerned regional council.

“It follows from the clear provisions of section 10(1)(a) to (d) that “vacation” of office under section 10 does not occur by way of a purported decision by council, but occurs by a vacation of office by the member concerned by resigning from his/her office as a member through addressing a letter to the chief regional officer of the council.

Your purported decision is further null and void on the basis that in a manner ultra vires section 11(2)(a)(i) to (iii) the purported meeting at which the decision was made was not open to the public, as required under section 11(2)(a), notwithstanding that the matters discussed has nothing to do with the exceptions provided for under section 11(2)(a)(i) and (iii).

The decision was further invalid and null and void on the basis that it was held in a manner ultra vires section 11(8)(a) in terms of which it is required that the Governor of the region concerned “must be informed of every meeting of the regional council of that region”. The governor was not informed of a meeting at which the purported decision was made and taken,” said Namandje.

The seasoned lawyer further stated that Isaacks’s decision which was announced in a manner and language filled with tribal-flavoured insults, is plainly bad in law and stands to be set aside by the High Court once challenged.

“We write to demand, as we hereby do, that by 10h00 tomorrow, 1 February 2024, you must either have withdrawn the decision or you must have given an undertaking that you will not implement it until finalisation of a Court application to be instituted by our clients in a few days.

If you fail to revoke the decision or at least to make an undertaking that the decision will not be implemented, we regret to inform you that given its immediate effect and the devastating effect it has on our clients, the electorate and the rule of law, our client shall institute an urgent application in the High Court of Namibia to be served upon you not later than Monday, 4 February 2024, and to be heard on an urgent basis on 9 February 2024 at 09h00 by the High Court of Namibia,” cautioned Namandje.

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