Namibia: Lüderitz Without Management Committee

THE Lüderitz Town Council has been operating without a management committee since last year's regional and local authority elections.

In an affidavit filed in the High Court early this month, magistrate Adelinus Hailonga who presided over the proceedings, said he erred by allowing seven members to be nominated, elected and sworn in for the management committee instead of five members as prescribed by the law.

The seven members who were sworn in are Anna Maria Hartzenburg of LPM who was elected as mayor, Josephine Heita of Swapo as deputy mayor, Brigitte Fredericks (Swapo), Benjamin McKay (PDM), Johannes Abraham (Swapo), Albertina Ndeshikeya and Philipus Balhao (both IPC).

The mayor and deputy mayor were constituted correctly but the other five members were sworn in instead of only three.

According to Hailonga this irregularity has placed the management committee in an illegal position where it can neither convene meetings or carry out its mandate or any other statutory mandate under Section 30 of the Regional and Local Authorities Act.

None of the committee's decisions are binding.

The affidavit enables the High Court to review and set aside the election of the management committee members held on 1 December last year, as well as an order to constitute new management committee elections 14 days from the date the order was granted.

"The consequence of that principle is that in a constitutional state governed by the rule of law and legality where I acted within the realms of administrative decision-making and I became aware that my mistake was tainted by an illegality, I approach this court to have the decision reviewed and set aside," says Hailonga.

In the motion filed in the High Court, Hailonga is listed as the 1st applicant with the chairperson of the Magistrates Commission the 2nd applicant, while the Swapo Party is the first respondent followed by the Popular Democratic Movement, Independent Patriots for Change, and the Landless People's Movement.

The council and the minister of regional and regional development are listed as fifth and sixth respondents, respectively.

The matter is with the Office of the Attorney General and is expected to be heard in the next seven to 14 days.

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