By: Justicia Shipena
Lawyer Richard Metcalfe, who represents two former LPM Mariental councillors, says politicians who disregard the law don’t deserve to represent people. Metcalfe’s comments come after LPM said it would not reinstate his clients, Daniel Gariseb and Rogetha Haack, who the party suspended for disloyalty despite the High Court ordering the party to do so. Gariseb and Haack had challenged and won a court case against their suspension.
“If this what they are doing, they don’t deserve to be politicians elected to represent the people,” said Metcalfe.
He said it is a worrisome trend in politics where politicians don’t want to heed the ultimate power in the country.
“If you will try and ignore one of the three branches of government and judiciary, then we are in trouble in this country.”
Metcalfe told The Villager that the next step for the councillors would be to approach the court to ask for an order for the content of the courts.
“And, of course, it becomes a criminal matter. If that is the way these people want to run things and have no regard for the law, then they don’t deserve to be elected as politicians representing us.”
Meanwhile, LPM spokesperson Eneas Emvula questioned if lawyers ran political parties.
“It is a matter of principles and values of an organisation. If you decide to defy the rules and orders within an organisation by choice but still want to be part of an organisation whose rules you broke, that is unheard of,” he said.
He stressed that the two had vowed to respect the party’s constitution.
“And they failed in that. Now you want to retain the same position in the same organisation that is sabotage.”
Emvula said if the lawyer is not a member of LPM and doesn’t understand the party’s constitution, this is not a space to air their opinion.
“They can do that in the court where they practice,” he said.
In this vein, he further pressed that LPM will not reinstate the councillors even if it means that to submit an appeal.
“Which we will do. The answer is no and no and no,” he said.
Eight days after their suspension, LPM had two new councillors sworn in to replace Gariseb and Haack, whom the court also set aside.
The party then sworn-in councillors are Paul Boois and Frensis Gawases.
The newly sworn-in councillors participated in the council election for mayorship.
On 29 April, High Court judge Hannelie Prinsloo ruled that LPM should reinstate Gariseb and Haack and do all things required by the country’s laws to effect such reinstatement within 10 days of the court order.
LPM had also received a fine of N$75 000.
Gariseb said what LPM is doing is illegal, while Haack said she was waiting for justice to be served because a court order must be implemented.
Haack stated that she is still loyal to the party.
LPM had also asked the two councillors to explain why they still wanted to be members of the party.