Lennit Max blocks swearing-in of successor

Former Western Cape leader of the Independent Democrats Lennit Max has blocked the swearing-in of his successor in the provincial legislature.

His legal team was granted an interim interdict by a Cape High Court judge late on Monday to prevent the party’s new provincial leader, Neville Hendricks, from taking his place as a member of the provincial legislature on Tuesday morning.

At the weekend the independent head of a party disciplinary enquiry, Sarah Christie, ruled that Max be expelled from the ID for breaching the party’s code of conduct.

In the ruling, she said though the code allowed anyone who had been disciplined to appeal to a special committee of the party’s national executive, because the enquiry had been held in terms of a High Court-sanctioned agreement, this did not apply to Max.

However Max’s lawyer Leon van Rensburg said Max had in fact lodged an appeal on Monday night.

“We believe that a vacancy hasn’t arisen and that we have the right to an internal appeal,” he said.

The return date for the interdict is August 30, only two days before the legislature’s floor-crossing window opens.

It is widely rumoured that Max plans to take his seat over to the Democratic Alliance during the window period.

ID secretary general Avril Harding said the party would fight the interdict, and that it would be able to ask the court for an earlier hearing than the 30th.

He said he understood Western Cape speaker Shaun Byneveldt, who has been cited as a respondent along with Christie and the Independent Electoral Commission, would also oppose it.

Max has asked in the application that Christie’s expulsion order be suspended pending finalisation of an internal appeal. - Sapa

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