Court rules against Mangope's removal
THE North West High Court has overturned a decision by the United Christian Democratic Party's federal council to terminate former Bophuthatswana leader Lucas Mangope's membership of the party.
Mangope had approached the court to review the decision taken in January last year.
Judge Nadia Gutta found there was no rational basis to justify the decision to remove Mangope as a member of the party.
"I am of the view that the relevant considerations were not taken into account when council took the decision to remove the applicant as a member, which decision was not rationally connected to the documentation before it as the report of the disciplinary committee was not available," the judge said.
Gutta said Mangope was entitled to have the decision of the council reviewed and set aside.
The court also ordered the costs be borne by the UCDP.
Mangope, who had been party leader since 1995, was fired as the leader of the party for allegedly making unilateral decisions and expelling senior party members.
The council also said he was destroying the party because of his age and poor health. Mangope, however, has maintained that he is the legitimate leader of the UCDP.
Immediately after court adjourned, Mangope asked a handful of his supporters to pray before going to their respective homes.
They chanted songs in celebration of the judgment and prayed outside court.
"Let's go to our lawyers' offices and hear what is the way forward. Thank you for being here today," Mangope said.
One of his supporters, Paul Jacobs, said he thanked the Almighty.
"Kgosi Mangope is a leader made by God, nobody shall destroy him, he will go out of politics the day God decides," he said.
The party's current leader, Sipho Mfundisi, said he would give official comment after the party's executive had met.
Mfundisi took over the reigns from the late Mavis Matladi, who died in November last year.
Matladi was elected as the party's leader in January last year after the expulsion of Lucas Mangope, who governed Bophuthatswana from 1977 until 1994 when the homelands were scrapped. - firstname.lastname@example.org