By Cllr Morne Steyn, Ward 5 Councillor – Nelson Mandela Bay Metro:
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has, as previously reported, brought an application in the High Court to set aside the election of the Ward committees of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMBM) due to the irregular and unjust method with which the process was undertaken.
Today the High Court has vindicated the DA in dismissing an application by the NMBM to have all individual members of the ward committees joined to the application of reviewing the ward committee elections.
This step was a technical argument brought for the sole purpose of frustrating the hearing of the main application and attempting to mount costs against the DA, which conservatively estimated would already have amounted to around R200 000.00.
This can only be attributed to a political decision as so succinctly stated by previous councilor Mafana, that the municipality would bankrupt the DA with public monies in this matter.
The DA will not stand by idly and allow irregular and unjust procedures to deprive the citizens of this Metro of their right to participate in governance. A flawed process specifically designed to marginalise opposition representation and frustrate democratic processes in especially opposition led wards will, despite the efforts of the ANC, not stand up to judicial scrutiny and will inevitably lead to further costs awarded against the municipality which will have been financed by the public purse.
We call on the incoming Mayor to immediately bring the ward committee matter before council, to have the elections and current ward committees set aside, and allow the process of the election of ward committees be started afresh through a fair and transparent process. Failing this, we will have our day in Court!