WINDHOEK: Judgement in an appeal application case by nine opposition political parties challenging the High Court’s dismissal of the outcome and results of the 2009 National Assembly elections will be made public here on Thursday this week.
The Registrar of the Supreme Court officially announced on Friday last week that judgement in the poll appeal case will be made this Thursday at 10h00. has been reserved.
A full bench of five Judges of Appeal of the Windhoek Supreme Court reserved judgement in the matter after they attentively listened to lengthy submissions and arguments presented by lawyers of the nine political parties (applicants) and those of the legal representatives of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and the ruling Swapo-Party (respondents).
� The judgement of this appeal application case is being reserved until further notice. The date of the announcement of the judgement in this matter will be communicated to the lawyers of the respective parties (applicants and respondents) once the judgement is ready, �: said Peter Shivute, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court is in session until 04 November this year, and has to pronounce itself on the matter before then.
Shivute has also highly applauded and thanked the lawyers and instructing attorneys of the two parties for the manner in which they conducted their business during the three days of the hearing of the appeal application.
In the matter, the late filing of the appeal records by the lawyers of the nine opposition parties before the Registrar of the Supreme Court took centre stage during the three days of the hearing.
The lawyer of the nine opposition political parties, Reinhard Totemeyer, made submissions for condonation of their late filing before the Supreme Court, and also asked that court for the reinstatement of the appeal application notwithstanding their non-compliance with the prescribed requirements and rules regarding the filing of the papers and related records.
However, South African Senior Counsel (SC) Vincent Maleka, who is representing the ECN and acting on instructions of Windhoek-based lawyer Sisa Namandje, asked the court not to entertain the requests by the applicants, saying they have completely failed to adhere to the requirements and rules of filing papers and records before the Supreme Court.
Another South African Senior Counsel, Ishmael Semenya, who is representing the ruling Swapo-Party, echoed similar sentiments as Maleka.
The two lawyers asked the court that the appeal application be dismissed with costs.
The nine opposition parties, who – according to the official election results – were trounced at the ballot box by the ruling Swapo-Party on 27 and 28 November 2009, turned to the High Court in early 2010 in a bid to have the election and its results nullified, or to have votes cast in the election recounted.
The parties’ legal challenge over the election was first dismissed on technical grounds, relating to the late filing of the parties’ case with the High Court on 04 March 2010.
After the Supreme Court set aside that ruling of High Court Judge-President Petrus Damaseb and Judge Collins Parker on 06 September last year, the case returned to the High Court, where the same two judges then dismissed it on its merits on 14 February this year.
� The evidence before the two High Court Judges did not prove any of the opposition parties’ complaints that the election was marred by irregularities which could have allowed large-scale rigging and ballot box stuffing to take place,�: said the two judges at the time.
The appeal application was against the above-mentioned judgement.
The appeal challenge to the election is being pursued by the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), United Democratic Front of Namibia (UDF), Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), Congress of Democrats (CoD), Republican Party, All People’s Party (APP), National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO), Namibia Democratic Movement for Change (NDMC), Republican Party (RP) and the Democratic Party of Namibia (DPN).
The Electoral Commission of Namibia and Swapo were defending the challenge.
Chief Justice Peter Shivute, Justices Gerhardt Maritz, Fred Chomba, Simpson Mtambanengwe and Sylvester Mainga presided over the appeal application case.