DA media release on Brummer outcome

Automatic dismissal of DA Bitou councillor upheld by Western Cape High Court

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Oudtshoorn. 13 September 2012. 06h30. The Democratic Alliance in Bitou welcomes the Western Cape High Court’s ruling in the case of Brummer v Democratic Alliance and others

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Bitou welcomes the decision of the Western Cape High Court to dismiss with costs Mr Johann Brummer’s application for an interim interdict to be reinstated as a DA member and a member of the Bitou Local Municipality Council.

In reaching this decision, the Western Cape High Court upheld the DA Constitution insofar as it provides that “a member ceases to be a member of the [DA] when he or she … is in default with the payment of any compulsory public representative contribution for a period of 2 (two) months after having been notified in writing that he or she is in arrears and fails to make satisfactory arrangements for payment of the arrears”.

The Court found that the DA had acted fairly in its handling of the matter. Every member of the DA is bound by the party’s Constitution and Mr Brummer is no exception to this. Despite receiving notice that he was in arrears and despite being provided with a number of opportunities to resolve the matter, Mr Brummer failed to fulfil his financial obligations to the party and automatically lost his DA membership.

Mr Brummer is not the first public representative of the DA whose membership came to an automatic end due to a failure to fulfil his financial obligations to the party. While the DA’s public representatives are generally well-informed of and respect their party obligations, a small proportion of the DA’s elected councillors have not paid their candidate fees. The DA takes matters such as these seriously and is committed to handling such matters fairly and in accordance with the party’s Constitution.

In its decision, the Western Cape High Court also dismissed Mr Brummer’s request that the Independent Electoral Commission be ordered not to declare his position on the Bitou Local Municipality Council vacant. In fact, the Court expressed its wish that the position be filled by the DA as soon as possible for the sake of good governance.

The DA in Bitou welcomes the opportunity to do what is necessary to ensure that the Bitou Local Municipality Council functions as it ought to and will now move to fill this position urgently.

Statement issued by Donald Grant, Bitou Constituency Head, September 12 2012

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