February 12, 2004

Court rejects DTA appea

The Supreme Court declined to hear an urgent appeal brought by the DTA against the High Court's rejection of the party's request to bar the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) from taking part in Grootfontein regional elections. Supreme Court Registrar, Jan Joubert, said lawyers for the DTA and its leader, Katuutire Kaura, had approached Chief Justice Hans Strydom requesting an urgent appeal against Acting Judge John Manyarara's decision. According to Joubert Hans Strydom declined to "constitute" a sitting of the Supreme Court.

Lawyers representing the DTA and Herero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako, whom Kaura has accused of illegally taking Nudo out of the DTA, said Strydom had found the notice too short to gather judges to consider the appeal. Kaura lost an urgent application in the High Court where he had asked that Nudo be stopped from being one of the five parties contesting the Grootfontein by-election. Acting Judge Manyarara said in his judgement that the appeal the DTA launched should not be considered urgent, because the party's leaders had time from September 18 to appeal. Manyarara did not rule on the arguments about whether Chief Riruako was correct in registering Nudo, the strongest group in the ethnically assembled conglomerate of parties. Kaura has separately filed an application for the courts to annul the Electoral Commission's registration of Nudo. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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