An urgent court bid by the Economic Freedom Fighters in the Eastern Cape to have a rule against wearing red overalls in the Bhisho Legislature overturned, has failed.
City Press learnt that last night Bhisho High Court judge Gerald Bloem dismissed the urgent application brought by the EFF on the eve of the state of the province address taking place in the Bhisho legislature today.
Bhisho legislature speaker Noxolo Kiviet has welcomed the order, which was dismissed with costs.
Provincial legislature spokesperson Velisile Bukula said the EFF had on an urgent basis, with papers only served on the legislature after midday on Wednesday this week, expected that the court would rule that the a dress code adopted in 2015 was unconstitutional.
Bukula said the matter was heard by the Bhisho High Court less than 28 hours after papers were served to the legislature at 4pm on Wednesday.
“The EFF had brought this application on an urgent basis despite the policy having been applicable since 2015 and being complied with by all members of the provincial legislature (MPLs),” Bukula said.
According to Bukula, Bloem emphasised that he could not comprehend how the matter had all of a sudden become so urgent because of the state of the province address when the policy in question had been in existence since 2015.
“The learned judge, when dealing with the matter of requirements for an interim interdict, emphasised the fact that the EFF needed to prove harm in order to succeed. In this regard, he agreed with the arguments of Advocate Donovan Pitt [appearing for the legislature] that there would be no harm suffered by members of the EFF or any other MPL for that matter, like being removed from the house, if they are appropriately dressed. He thus also struck off the application also for failure to meet the requirements of an interim interdict,” said Bukula.
“The legislature reiterates that its standing rules and orders as well as policies are valid and binding as they are a product of thorough consultative processes in multiparty structures where minority parties are also represented,” Bukula said.
Attempts were made to get a comment from the only EFF MPL in the Eastern Cape Siyabulela Peter, but were unsuccessful.
The national spokespeople Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Godrich Gadee were also unavailable, and hadn’t replied to emails at the time of going to press.