So it’s come down to this…
Does Bredell have locus standi!?
NO HE DOES NOT!
For updates, new stories, and additional comment, click here to follow @DrewanBaird on twitter
Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn.
21 November 2013
Speaker Stoffels this afternoon appealed the Schippers judgment.
In the mean time the DA is literally broadcasting – from vehicles no less – that they, “the legitimates” no less – are “taking over” tomorrow…
13 November 2013.
08h30. The formal press this morning appears to be unanimous about the main purport of the Schippers judgment: The majority of Oudtshoorn councillors may now convene a council meeting to consider motions of no confidence in the mayor, deputy mayor, and speaker.
The DA had been hollering victory and control since May 31 – 166 days ago… 6 months ago! – yet the ANC coalition rules, O.K.
Given the media consensus on the Western Cape minister’s conclusion, surely those xyresic strategists and tactical mavins – Koos Cilliers and Michael Brewis and Seraj Johaar and Anton Bredell and Theuns Botha and Chris MacPherson and Hildegard Fast and Fiona Stewart, to name but a few, must now deliver on Theuns’s victory cry at the Pearl on May 31!?
14h30. The municipal manager contractual and legal services, Pumzo Tofile, issued the following statement:
The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning of the Western Cape Provincial Government (“the Minister”) brought an urgent application on 1 October 2013 against the Speaker and the Municipal Manager of the Oudtshoorn Municipality for a mandamus to force the Oudtshoorn Municipal Council to consider various motions of no confidence in the Speaker, the Executive Mayor and the Deputy Mayor of the Council.
The Minister also sought an order declaring that the Speaker’s recommendation to the Council that the conduct of certain councillors belonging to the DA led coalition, contravened the Council’s code of conduct and that their voting rights should be suspended pending a decision by the Minister as to their conduct, was unlawful.
The Speaker brought a counter application to the effect that the dispute should be referred to the Premier in terms of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act.
The Court held that the Minister did not have the power to approach the Court for the mandamus and that a Municipal Council has autonomous powers in this regard with which the Minister may not interfere by way of the type of application he brought in the present instance. The Court did, however, grant a declaratory order in terms of which the Speaker’s recommendation to the Council as described in paragraph 2 above, as unlawful.
The Court further dismissed the counter application on the basis that the provisions of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act are discretionary and that it does not preclude the Court from adjudicating upon disputes such as the present one.
Finally, the Court ordered the Speaker to pay the costs in relation to certain previous applications relating to the holding of a Council meeting for purposes of the consideration of motions of no confidence in the Speaker, Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Oudtshoorn Municipality.
In relation to the costs of the application itself, the Court held that neither party was substantially successful and accordingly ordered each party to pay its own costs.
The Oudtshoorn Municipality is busy studying the judgment and will take a decision as to the way forward in due course.
12h55. The speaker issued the following press release minutes ago:
I am pleased that Mr Justice Ashton Schippers this morning found that the council meeting of 20 September complied with the order of Court made by Mr Justice Henney on 13 September and that the Western Cape minister of local government Anton Bredell had no locus standi in bringing this application in the first place.
The judgement comprises 117 paragraphs and contains fundamental imports for decisions made by speakers and councils.
Moreover, the judgement is marked “Reportable” which means that it will be recorded in the South African Law Reports as it contributes to the development of South African law and will serve as authority in all future relevant matters.
The Court also made an adverse finding against me in dismissing my counter application that the minister should be directed to deal with the matter in terms of the Intergovernmental Framework Act; and in awarding cost against me in the matters launched on 23 August and 10 September.
The Court also found that council’s decision to revoke the voting rights of councillors Pierre Nel and Ben van Wyk was illegal.
These findings are also studied and if found to be correct in law, will be accepted.
I am generally comfortable with the judgement and am currently studying it with my legal team to decide whether to accept the outcome in its entirety, or to appeal it in part or in its entirety.
The municipality’s in-house legal adviser will soon issue a statement on the legal implications of the judgement.
Fact: An MEC can not enforce a local government council meeting.
10h30. Relief sought by Bredell refused; counter application refused; revocation of voting rights illegal; parties to pay own costs; Stoffels to pay de bonis propriis for two earlier applications.
09h50. Everybody’s here… even Koos Cilliers.
09h46. Court 13… Nojawellfine.
08h23. An hour in the gym; a quite hearty breakfast. Game on.
8 November 2013. 16h40. His Lordship Mr Justice Schippers will deliver his verdict on Tuesday, November 12.
I will report live from the High Court.
25 October 2013. 05h30. The Western Cape Director Municipal Governance, Seraj Johaar, told the ANC’s Pierre Uys that his minister only got involved in the Oudtshoorn matter when the Speaker started to ignore court orders.
Ye gods and faeries.
Comment would be an insult to mine longsuffering readers.
Ye gods and faeries.
And the Pa’lowick of the swampy world of Lowick.
Even, too, the Pau’ans of Utapau.
Star Wars species are not really weird, given our politicians and their staffers.
24 October 2013. 09h55. The Supplementary Heads of Argument called for by Schippers J had been filed yesterday afternoon.
The papers represent legal product of extraordinary value and it was decided that they not be published.
The judgment, expected next week, will be published in full.
21 October 2013. 14h35. Schippers J issued a second directive.
20 October 2013. 10h55. Here’s the relevant court papers. Enjoy!
19 October 2013. 06h45. Mr Justice Schippers directed the parties on Thursday to file written submissions on or before Wednesday 23 October 2013 on the following question:
Whether, having regard to the provisions of section160(1) of the Constitution and sections 36 – 40 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998, the fourth respondent, the Minister for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning of the Western Cape Province, has locus standi to seek the relief sought in paragraphs 2 – 6 of the notice of motion dated 30 September 2013.
8 October 2013.
18h10. Schippers J is xyresic. The man is highly intelligent and with an impressive memory. He has good humour and expressive body language. This case is in excellent hands. From my vantage point our judicial system is robust and trustworthy.
Schippers challenged and engaged the senior advocates, Willie Vermeulen and Ismail Jamie, regularly and with intent. The two learned gentlemen had to think on their feet and both did remarkably well. Great arguments. It was a pleasure to listen to them – and to His Lordship.
As far as the Speaker’s advisors are concerned, Shaheed Patel and Hardy Mills are on top of their game. Damn, it is great to be surrounded by so much grey matter… and high spirits.
It’s a pleasure, gentlemen.
16h12. Schippers J allows Vermeulen an opportunity to address the Court.
The Court adjourns with Schippers J indicating that he will rule during the course of next week.
15h26. Vermeulen concludes after a bit of a marathon.
Jamie now replies. He refers to the Inter-Governmental Framework Act and s139 of the Constitution.
14h55. Schippers J and Vermeulen are at odds about the reasons for the earlier suspension of four councillors, revoked.
Also about the fact that the Morrison Report was known at the time of both the Rogers and Henney orders. Why, wants Schippers J to know, was the Morrison Report not introduced at those times.
14h30. Vermeulen gets poetic about Bredell’s inaction regarding the Morrison Report on the Nel settlement. Quite poetic: prevarication; form over substance…
14h10. And we’re back. Vermeulen continues.
13h03. Lunch. Till 14h00.
12h43. Vermeulen argues that Bredell should be subjected to cross-examination in order to determine his intentions with the emails. Also Bredell is refusing to deal with the fraudulent actions of DA Councillors.
12h34. Vermeulen introduces the emails between Bredell, Theuns Botha, Koos Cilliers, and Wessie van der Westhuizen.
12h22. Schippers J wants to know on which basis the Counter Application is brought.
12h00. Schippers J is asking Vermeulen whether the starting point should not be august 7 – the date of the by-election.
After a short toing and froing Vermeulen continues.
11h51. Vermeulen takes the Court back to May 31, and starts his argument.
11h50. In a lighter moment, Jamie suggests that an attorney from Oudtshoorn Chairs council for purposes of considering the Motions of No Confidence…
It is suggested from the floor, by interjection, that Nic Barrow be considered.
Mirth all round and from all in Court, including His Lordship.
Adv Vermeulen rises for the Speaker.
11h40. We’re back. Jamie speaks to s106 of the structures Act – “the MEC MUST…”
11h20. Jamie calls the Counter Application “without merit” as there is no inter-governmental dispute. Stoffels, the Speaker, not the Municipality, is sued.
11h17. Jamie now moves on to the points in limine and the Counter Application.
11h15. Schippers J disagrees with Jamie that the Court may appoint a chairman to replace the Speaker.
10h55. Jamie is essentially arguing that Speaker Stoffels should have given effect to the both the spirit and the specifics of the Court Orders to consider the Motions of No Confidence, having agreed not to suspend DA Councillors.
10h21. Adv Ismail Jamie, for the Western Cape minister of local government, begins his argument.
10h19. Waiting for the Judge…
09h52. Additional comment on twitter. Click here to follow @DrewanBaird on twitter
09h30. Several cuppuccinos at Advocado… One of the few pleasures of litigation in the WCHC.
08h30. The matter will be heard by His Lordship Mr Justice Schippers at 10h00.
O!O will report in real time from the Western Cape High Court.
Decision makers turn to O!O first for what’s really happening in Eden
… You’re reading, aren’t you!?
Advertise on O!O – click here for details