By Staff Reporter
The Makhanda High Court Action Committee (HCAC) will be meeting the Moseneke Commission face to face on 10 March in Pretoria to insist that the High Court must not be moved to Bhisho.
The committee has the full support of the Society of Advocates for the Eastern Cape (Gqeberha and Makhanda).
However, a committee spokesperson said that the Eastern Cape LPC (Legal Practice Council) was unsupportive and did not even consult with the legal fraternity in Makhanda before deciding not to support the campaign to keep the High Court in Makhanda.
Rhodes University vice-chancellor, Professor Sizwe Mabizela, said this week that Makhanda was a consistently improving centre of education and this good work would be undone if the High Court was relocated to Bhisho.
He added that the university was doing everything possible to oppose the move.
“The university is the biggest employer in Makhanda, followed by the local municipality, and
then the Makhanda High Court and the associated legal services. The university is also the
largest contributor to municipal rates, and many business services in the city exist primarily
because of the university” he said.
If the court is moved, almost a third of the town’s businesses would no longer be viable and would have to close down.
“The municipality, already in a parlous state, would lose millions in rates revenue. The city would become less attractive and less liveable for our staff and students. This would place the viability and sustainability of the town as an education centre at a great, and potentially irreversible, risk. An increase in poverty, hunger and hopelessness would be the inevitable consequence for everyone” Mabizela said.