Swapo Top 4 have no powers to suspend people: Maleka

04 Feb 2016 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 04 FEB (NAMPA) – Swapo’s top four leaders had no right to expel four youth leaders from the party in 2015, South African Senior Counsel, Advocate Vincent Maleka said on Thursday.
Maleka said this in his heads of argument in the hearing of a legal wrangle between the ruling Swapo-party leadership and four expelled youth leaders that commenced in the Windhoek High Court here Thursday afternoon.
He is representing former Swapo-Party Youth League (SPYL) leader Elijah Ngurare and three local land activists, Job Amupanda, George Kambala and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma.
The four are now challenging their controversial suspension and eventual expulsion from the ruling party in July 2015 over their involvement in the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement.
Maleka said the party’s top leadership did not follow the correct disciplinary procedures at the time of suspension and firing of the youth leaders.
The decision to suspend the youth was taken by the Swapo top four leaders - Swapo President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Vice-President Dr Hage Geingob, Secretary-General Nangolo Mbumba and Deputy Secretary-General Laura McLeod-Katjirua.
“This top four has no legal powers to suspend members or recommend the suspension of the members to the party's Central Committee. This was an invalid act taken by the top four.
“The confirmation of the suspension of the youth (applicants) by the Politburo is also irrelevant as this was to be effected by the party's Disciplinary Committee as per provisions of the Swapo-party's Constitution and Code of Conduct,” Maleka told Acting High Court Judge Collins Parker who presides over the hearing.
In addition, Maleka informed the court that there was no single communication from the Swapo leadership to notify the applicants prior to their suspension, and that the letter of suspension by the top four has nothing indicating the reasons for the suspension of his clients.
Meanwhile, South African Senior Counsel Vas Soni, who is representing the respondents (Swapo top four), will present his heads of argument on Friday morning.
In the matter, Amupanda, Nauyoma, Kambala and Ngurare were axed from the ruling party last year, and later filed papers with the High Court to challenge their axing.
Maleka is appearing for the expelled youth on the instructions of Windhoek-based lawyer Amupanda Kamanya.
Soni is representing Swapo and its top four on the instructions of Conradie and Damaseb law firm.
Hearing continues on Friday morning at about 10h00.