102 days after the DA’s failed coup on May 31
Drewan Baird. Cape Town. 10 September 2013.
15h30 His Lordship awards costs on a party to party basis as costs followed events.
The DA and Cope and five apostate ANC councillors and the DA are jointly and severally liable for the costs
15h25 Heunis tells the court he has instructions to ask only for costs, and not punitive costs.
Borgström apologises for his earlier quick reaction.
15h17 Borgström has a short fuse. No malintend in saying this, I am merely making an observation. Well, I guess you had to be here… But, not good body language, dear sir.
15h05 Heunis beskryf die verskille tussen die Tlokwe- en Oudtshoorn-sake.
14h48 Heunis quotes from the Morrison Report, referring to the Erasmus judgement in Nel v Oudtshoorn Municipality.
He also refers to Nel’s comments during an April corporate committee meeting. Where Nel said that he did not know that the matter was referred to the Constitutional Court.
The DA had opportunity to distance itself from the settlement, and refused.
14h45 The matter hinges on the lawfulness, or not, of the DA’s action on May 31.
Nowhere has the DA councillors rejected the Nel settlement, and that indicates the DA’s general mindset, argues Heunis.
14h35 Heunis picks at Borgström’s references to the papers before court, stressing that the matteris not an administrative law matter.
14h27 This case is not about politicking, argues Heunis. It is a matter of pure constitutional law, not an administrative review.
Strict compliance with constitutional law is demanded.
14h22 Heunis starts his reply.
14h20 Borgström seems to be concluding. He asks that the Speaker be liable for the costs.
14h14. Borgström continues… And then some.
14h01 We’re back.
13h07 Lunch. Till 14h00.
13h04 If the new DA government should confirm the Nel settlement, the decision should be reviewed, says Borgström – and he, Borgström, will be baying too for such revision.
12h56 Borgström now addresses the Nel setttlement, quoting DA Leader Helen Zille, stating that it had no effect whatsoever.
He argues that this was probably engineerd by “Mr Barrow”.
Clearly, Borgström is laying the Nel settlement on Barrow.
12h27 Borgström argues that the Speaker had no right to adjourn the Council Meeting on May 31.
12h20 Borgström is arguing, it seems, that the May 31 doingses were quite legal.The Judge interrupts him regularly.
12h05 Refering to Nic Barrow’s “muses and rantings”, Borgström calls: “Who’s Barrow!?”
Le Grange: “One of your client’s attorneys!”
Again, general mirth.
12h04 Borgström accused the ANC of clinging to power.
He acknowledges that the Nel settlement is suspect and that “Mr van Wyk’s political career might be much shorter than he anticipates”.
The DA will not tolerate impropriety.
11h56 David Borgström starts his argument for the DA.
11h50 Heunis quotes Nic Barrow’s note on Die Waghond.
“It is an eye-opener”, says Henis.
Heunis concludes with the DA’s reaction to Mills’s warning of court action – on June 3… And asks for punitive costs against the DA councillors, the Cope councillor, the five ANC defectors, and the DA.
11h40 And we’re back.
11h08 Now Heunis quotes the DA’s attorney, writing to Mills: “Your client may do as they wish.”
11h05 Heunis argues that the matter could have been settled much earlier, and much cost prevented, when attorney Hardy Mills proposed a settlement.
10h53 Le Grange: “But these are serious allegations!”
Heunis: “Pardon, My Lord?”
Le Grange: “These are serious allegations!”
Heunis: “And it becomes more serious still My Lord!”
Heunis argues that the coup might have been inspired by a desire to settle the Nel matter.
10h50 Heunis quotes from the report “by our learned friends Bruce Morrison and Elmien Vermeulen”.
10h48 Heunis argues that the Nel settlement warrants punitive costs.
Now Le Grange starts nodding.
10h45. Le Grange muses that if he orders all decisions (following the DA’s 31 May antics) void, the Nel settlement is also voided, but nothing prevents the DA from deciding it again by majority.
Heunis agrees and addresses Nic Barrow’s role in the “settlement”.
10h40. Heunis addresses the Nel v Oudtshoorn Municipality “settlement”.
He tells the court: “His Lordship’s brother Erasmus made short shrift of the matter in the High Court.”
10h35. Le Grange is not at the point where he is considering punitive costs.
Heunis: “They engineered…”
Le Grange: “They are politicians!”
Heunis: “With respect, My Lord, I am not going to enter into an argument on this…”
General mirth ensues.
10h30. Le Grange: “If I order costs against the 12 councillors they can decide as a majority that the municipality pay the costs!”
Heunis: “That will be taken on review My Lord.”
Le Grange nods. “They (the DA Councillors) knew exactly what they were doing…”
Heunis: “You are absolutely right, Your Lordship.”
10h25. Le Grange interrupts Stoffels’s Counsel Jan Heunis: “Legally they (the DA) could not have done what they were doing here!”
10h21. Ye gods and faeries, these adversaries are well mannered and even beter behaved!
I’m mostly used to Waghond lawyering…
Some housekeeping issues are addressed.
10h12. His Lordship le Grange arrives. We stand. We sit.
10h04. And they all troop back. The DA is granted 15 minutes to read the Speaker’s added affidavit. We’ll start at around 10h15.
10h01. And all the players troop out to Judge’s chambers.
09h55 All players present, but His Lordship André le Grange.
06h10. So… This is the day.
There will be running commentary from the High Court here on O!O.
O!O first reported on this case on June 4 – 2 business days after the conked coup.
This is the only court case initiated by the municipality in the litany of municipal cases currently pending.
On the Monday following the DA antics after the council meeting was closed, the Speaker wrote the DA Whip asking that the DA repent. The DA’s attitude was simply to test the antics in court.
So, here we are.
Decision makers turn to O!O first for what’s really happening in Eden
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