Have mercy on us: NEFF in court over deregistration

The Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) has asked the Electoral Court for an interim interdict against the electoral authority after the party was deregistered.

NEFF on Monday filed a notice of motion against the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and the speaker of the National Assembly, challenging its recent deregistration as a political party.

However, these court papers have not yet been received by the ECN, spokesperson De Wet Siluka said yesterday.

“We have not received anything to this effect,” he told The Namibian.

The ECN deregistered NEFF and the Christian Democratic Voice (CDV) as political parties on 17 June for failing to submit financial statements as required by the Electoral Act.

NEFF announced that it filed an application seeking to overturn the decision made by the ECN, to be heard on 23 July.

NEFF claims the deregistration is unconstitutional and unlawful.

The application is supported by affidavits from the party leaders Epafras Mukwiilongo, Longinus Iipumbu and their lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo.

NEFF is requesting that the court condones their non-compliance with certain procedural rules, citing urgency and the need for swift judicial intervention.

Meanwhile, the party admits to not delivering notice within the prescribed time frame.

Moreover, NEFF is seeking an interdict to stop the ECN and the speaker of the National Assembly from acting on the deregistration decision.

NEFF also asks for an interim interdict to maintain the status quo until the court reaches a final decision on the matter.

According to the notice, if the respondents oppose application, they were required to file their intention to oppose by yesterday.

ECN senior legal officer Alfeus Haufiku last week said the commission started requesting NEFF’s financial statements in 2021, and has had multiple talks with the party since.

He said the ECN gave the NEFF a deadline in 2022, set for March of that year.

“They were complaining that they could not meet the deadline because they needed more information, that this was a new act, and so forth. We said fine, let’s have a meeting,” he said.

The deadline has been moved several times since 2021, he added.

According to an affidavit, the decision is inconsistent as the ECN created the impression that the applicant is in compliance with the act, but also created the impression that the applicant has a deadline of 30 June 2024, in terms of which it had to comply.

Iipumbu said there was no hearing in terms of which the applicant was requested to show cause why the applicant should not be deregistered

“It’s unfair on the basis that the commission has not provided an opportunity to the applicant to be heard before exercising its power to deregister the applicant,” he added.

Iipumbu further said they stand to lose six months’ value of participation in the National Assembly.

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