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Cape Town -
An acitivist caused a stir at the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday when he scolded a judge for interrupting him, denounced the government, then stormed out.
Mario Wanza was in court over an interdict to bar him from “interfering” with housing developments on the Cape Flats set up by the Cape Town Community Housing Company. He is the chairman of Proudly Manenberg and the leader of a relaunched United Democratic Front (UDF).
When Wanza, who was not legally represented, got an opportunity to state his case as to why a final interdict should not be granted against him and the UDF – the two respondents in the matter – he argued that taking someone’s house away was a violation of a fundamental right. He then quoted parts of the constitution, followed by a section of the Freedom Charter.
Acting Judge Allie Blommaert made an attempt to stop him, questioning the relevance of it.
But Wanza interrupted him and said: “Don’t be rude to me... I’m going to have you arrested for violating my rights.”
When the judge tried to stop him a second time, Wanza said: “I’m talking I’m not done yet.”
Acting Judge Blommaert warned Wanza that he would be removed from court.
Wanza, however, raised his voice, saying he was free and that he didn’t “stand under your authority or anyone else’s”. He denounced the government, as well as the court proceedings involving repossessions, saying it was “all fake”.
Acting Judge Blommaert then also raised his voice and said: “You are not going to use my courtroom to make political statements.”
Wanza stormed out, saying he was going home, as shocked and amused lawyers, as well as court attendees, looked on.
A final interdict was granted against Wanza and the UDF, who were also ordered to pay the legal costs of the application.