Bitou speaker’s interdict dismissed
13:15 (GMT+2), Thu, 06 October 2011
Source: Candice Ludick (Knysna-Plett Herald)
The Bitou Speaker’s application for a High Court interdict against ANC councilors has been dismissed with costs and the ANC councilors’ counter-application for declaratory relief awarded, in a ground-breaking case deemed important enough for inclusion in legal journals.
Western Cape High Court judge, Judith Innes Cloete ruled against Johan Brummer in his official capacity as speaker of the Bitou Council, on September 28 following a hearing on September 7 and 8 during which Brummer sought the extension of a preliminary ruling issued in his favour in which he applied for relief against the Bitou councilors and Bitou head of Municipal Law Enforcement (MLE) and SAPS provincial commissioner.
Brummer withdrew the original relief sought against the SAPS provincial commissioner on July 13.
The purpose of the counter-application was to exonerate former mayor Lulama Mvimbi from libelous allegations against him and to confirm that Brummer’s actions were unlawful.
Cloete ruled that the preliminary ruling issued on July 13 by Judge James Yekiso (that all councilors as well as the head of Bitou’s MLE abide by the rules of order) is discharged with costs, such costs to include the costs of the counsels appointed by the ANC councilors and the head of MLE.
Hardy Mills, attorney for the ANC councilors and the head of MLE, estimates these costs to be in the region of R1 million.
Cloete declared that Brummer’s direction at the council meeting on June 29 that Mvimbi did not have the right to address the meeting and that Mvimbi retire from the council chamber, was outside his authority as speaker and accordingly unlawful and of no effect.
She also declared his use of profanity when addressing the councilors at the same meeting as unbecoming language in terms of the Rules of Order.
Brummer’s determination at the council meeting on Friday, July 8 that the urgent motion regarding Resolution No C11I04I06/l1 (file ref 13/5149) was an unopposed matter, coupled with his refusal of Mvimbi’s objection that the urgent motion was indeed opposed, was also deemed outside the Rules of Order and the Structures Act and accordingly unlawful and of no effect…
Read the full story at here.