The ruling Swapo party will tomorrow hear whether or not its leadership acted lawfully when it expelled former youth league secretary Dr Elijah Ngurare and activists Job Amupanda, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala from the party last year.
This would be 21 days before the initial date on which Acting High Court Judge Collins was scheduled to deliver his judgment after hearing statements from both sides in February.
Observers, commentators and analysts have since indicated that whichever way the judgment swings it will serve as a lifelong lesson to both Swapo and the four men, as well as anyone who finds themselves in the same predicament.
The quartet have asked the High Court to set aside their expulsion on the ground that considerations of “natural justice” and fairness were not applied by the party’s top leadership. This is mainly so, as the decision came from the ‘Swapo Top Four’, which includes President Hage Geingob, secretary general Nangolo Mbumba and his deputy, Khomas Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua.
The expelled men argue that the top four do not constitute a recognised structure in the party and hence does not have the authority to expel them. They were given the boot predominantly for their involvement with, or support for, the Affirmative Repositioning movement.
The movement was created to pressurise government into delivering residential erven. An agreement was reportedly entered into between the two parties to have service 200 000 residential plots, an agreement which the government apparently breached by announcing recently that it will service only 26 000 plots by 2020.
Swapo is represented in court by South African senior counsel Soni Vas and local lawyer Dirk Conradie, while South African Advocate Vincent Maleka and local lawyer Amupanda Kamanja represent the four plaintiffs.
Political analyst Phanuel Kaapama said it would be premature to give any commentary on the case without seeing the details of the judgment. He added though that the judgment would have far-reaching political implications.
“One wants to hear the grounds of the judgment. It could be on the grounds of technicalities, or various serious breaches, which will all determine the magnitude of impact to either side. Friday is not far away. Let us wait for that day,” Kaapama advised.
Political commentator, Andrew Niikondo, is of the opinion that this is a very delicate case and that the judgment should be respected and adhered to by all. “All that I’m saying is that whatever comes out of the court, the two parties have to comply. There’s no way to challenge the court [ruling],” Niikondo said.
“The verdict of the court is always the final thing, whether anyone accepts it or not. Unless, they regroup and appeal,” he said, adding that: “Democracy and the rule of law dictate that when the court pronounces itself on a matter, you just have to comply.”