21 January 2013

Namibia: Kaaronda to Testify Tomorrow

Photo: Leadership
Court logo.

Windhoek — Expelled National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) secretary general Evilastus Kaaronda and the Interim Khomas Teachers Strategic Committee's Mahongora Kavihuha, the Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) president Dankie Katjiuanjo, Elfrieda Mwagbo and Josef Katjingisiua are expected to testify in mitigation of their sentences in the High Court on Tuesday.

This is after the court postponed the case on Thursday, at the request of defence lawyer Steve Rukoro. Sisa Namandje, who is representing Dr Abraham Iyambo and the government, insisted that Rukoro provide a reason for the postponement.

Rukoro's reason was simply that his clients had requested the postponement.

Judge Collins Parker gave instructions that he would like to see everyone in court on Tuesday.

Judge Parker found the five in contempt of court in the High Court in December, after the Minister of Education, Dr Abraham Iyambo, and the Government brought an urgent application before the Labour Court on November 9, in which they requested the court to find Kaaronda and a group of teachers and other public servants who were involved in an illegal strike in contempt of court.

Namandje argued that the five individuals must be found guilty of contempt of court, because they failed to abide by the two court interdicts which were passed by the court on November 2 and 9 last year, requesting them to end the illegal teachers' strike.

"The applicants have exceedingly made out a case of contempt of court against the respondents, and they must be found guilty of contempt of court, because there was deliberate non-compliance with the two court interdicts," Namandje argued.

Defence lawyers Steve Rukoro and Edwin Coetzee pleaded with the court not to find their clients guilty because their actions were "not intentional".

"It was simply a human error committed by the respondents. As we are standing here now, there is no illegal strike by teachers and other public servants going on in this country. We are all human beings, and as human beings we all make mistakes," the two lawyers argued last year.

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