DA applies to have ward committee elections reviewed and set aside

OCTOBER 16, 2014

The DA in Nelson Mandela Bay has applied to the High Court to have the ward committee nomination and election process in the metro “declared to have been administratively unfair and unlawful and that it be reviewed and set aside”.

In his Founding Affidavit, DA caucus leader Retief Odendaal states that in addition to several “shortcomings,” the procedures which were eventually followed “were inherently unfair and un-lawful.

“It has not been possible to construct a complete record of what happened in everyone of the 60 wards.

“However, it will be argued that the picture that emerged...demonstrates a level of disarray and inconsistency to discredit the entire process, even if it had otherwise complied with the relevant empowering provisions (which of course it did not).”

He states that in addition to the “chaotic administrative arrangements...there was no consistency whatsoever in the pro-cess followed at nomination meetings, which is most instances were blatantly unfair.

“As is apparent from the large number of wards in which there was no contest, every effort was made by the Respondent’s (the municipality) officials presiding at the meetings to manage the meeting in such a way which would limit the number of nominations to 10.”

Odendaal provides an extensive over-view of the way in which the ward elections were conducted, concluding that the nomination and election process “substantially failed to meet the standard for administrative action set by Section 33 of the Constitution and Promotion of Administrative Justice Act.”

The DA leader says that the procedure and March 27 decision by Council on the matter are judicially reviewable for a number of reasons, including that fact the officials responsible for implementation were not authorised to do so in terms of, inter alia, the Municipal Structures Act.

In addition, they acted “procedurally unfairly and/or were materially influenced in their actions by an error of law”.

Further, he states, it is judicially reviewable because the officials “acted arbitrarily and/or acted unconstitutionally and unlawfully”. - metrominutes