Higgins and Louw waiting for court decision
Nelson Mandela Bay DA councillors Trevor Louw and Neville Higgins will know their fate in about two weeks’ time after the Port Elizabeth High Court reserved judgment on Friday in their appeal application until February 19.
They were ejected from the DA in September after turning against the party to side with the new coalition government.
Louw and Higgins have applied for leave to appeal against an earlier court decision which declared that they were no longer councillors.
Advocates Dali Mpofu SC and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi are representing them in their court battle to be reinstated.
The DA’s legal representative, advocate Anthony Stein, shot down this possibility on Friday, calling it absurd.
“If these representatives want to stand in another election they are free to do so, but what they can’t [do is] expect to be accepted in that party they voted against,” Stein said.
The IEC has, meanwhile, postponed by-elections in wards 35 and 37 to await the final court decision.
About the by-election postponement, Ngcukaitobi said: “There will be no by-elections [in wards 35 and 37], regardless of what the DA wants to do today.”
In court papers, the IEC said judge Elna Revelas had found in favour of the DA in December that Louw and Higgins had ceased to be councillors and vacancies in the respective wards had been declared on December 20. “The position, however, changed on January 7 2019 when the two terminated councillors noted an appeal against the order of Judge Revelas,” the court papers read.
In its answering affidavit, the DA called the change “an abuse of court processes”.
The party said the cancellation of the vacancies in the wards “contradicts an earlier concession that there was an obligation to call a by-election”.
The IEC said it would await the outcome of the court judgment on February 19.