ID wins another floor-crossing round

The Independent Democrats (ID) won another round in the floor-crossing battle on Thursday when the Cape High Court refused to overturn the expulsion from the party of Cape Town city councillor Achmat Williams.

Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso also rejected Williams’s bid to delay his appeal hearing against the expulsion, which the party has scheduled for Friday.

The hearing takes place only hours before the midnight start of the 15-day floor-crossing window.

Williams was expelled on August 15 for holding secret talks with controversial Karoo politician Truman Prince, founder of the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa.

He claimed in court papers that his disciplinary hearing was procedurally flawed and biased.

Traverso said, however, that except in exceptional circumstances, she could not interfere in a party’s disciplinary procedures until they had run their course.

Williams would still have recourse to the courts after the appeal.

“None of us in this court are fools. We all know why this application is being brought,” she said, referring to the crossing window.

On Wednesday, former ID general secretary Avril Harding lost a bid to stall his disciplinary hearing on sexual-harassment charges.

The hearing will also be held on Friday morning.

Also on Friday morning, Judge Dennis Davis is to rule whether Harding’s expulsion from the party earlier this month was valid.

Several other urgent matters involving the ID and city councillors are expected to come on to the high court roll on Friday.—Sapa

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