UDC responds to BMD application


FRANCISTOWN: The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has filed a notice of opposition for its case against the expelled Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).

Dutch Leburu, Dick Bayford and Joao Salbany represent the Umbrella in the case. One of the UDC lawyers, Salbany of Bayford and Associates told Mmegi yesterday that they have made their move.

“We filed the notice of opposition to the High Court last week. In terms of the rules of the High Court, we will then file the records of the proceedings then they (BMD) can amend or supplement their papers after that we can file our opposing affidavit,” Salbany said. “The case is still at its infancy hence I cannot talk much now.”

The Sidney Pilane-led BMD is challenging its expulsion from the opposition coalition. Ramalepa Attorneys acting for the party in December filed an application for a judicial review of the decision by the UDC to expel them.

The BMD was expelled from the Umbrella for showing ‘total disregard and disrespect’ for the leadership of the UDC, its processes and structures.  Prior to the expulsion, the party had served a 30-day suspension. The UDC also said that the BMD grossly misbehaved during the suspension, which is why it was expelled from the coalition. An insider within the UDC told Mmegi yesterday that the Umbrella was exploring the possibility of roping in renowned South African Advocates Dali Mpofu and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi who is also a public speaker, author and political activist to boost its legal team.

“Bayford, Salbany and Leburu will be the leading attorneys for UDC, but there is a strong possibility of bringing in Mpofu and Ngcukaitoi,” said the insider.

Mpofu was part of a legal team that represented the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in its challenge against Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu-PF party’s disputed victory last year.

Interestingly, Mpofu who is also the chairperson of the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was added to a VISA list late in 2014 by the then administration of president Ian Khama.

Other EFF leaders like Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, and Magdalene Moonsamy were later added to the list.

Boko was not available for comment while UDC spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa would not confirm nor deny that the party intends to rope in the South Africa’s legal brains. 

“All I can confirm is that we have responded to an application by the BMD,” he said.

BMD president, Pilane has issued a warning that, if the case is not resolved before elections, no party will contest the 2019 general elections under the UDC banner.

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