Veteran lawyer Hosea Angula has become the first person to be appointed deputy judge president of the High Court of Namibia.
President Hage Geingob's appointment of Angula as deputy judge president with effect from the start of January was announced by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) yesterday.
The JSC also announced that Geingob has appointed Judge Thomas Masuku as a judge of the High Court for five years with effect from 1 January. Judge Masuku is a former judge of the High Court of Swaziland and has been serving on the Namibian High Court bench in an acting capacity since the start of 2015.
The President has further appointed a long-practising member of the Society of Advocates of Namibia, senior counsel Herman Oosthuizen, as a High Court judge with effect from 15 January.
The appointment of four acting judges of appeal of the Supreme Court and three acting judges of the High Court was also announced by the JSC yesterday.
Former South African Constitutional Court judges Kate O'Regan and Yvonne Mokgoro have been appointed acting judges of appeal from 1 February this year to the end of January next year and from 1 January to the end of December this year respectively.
High Court Judge Elton Hoff and a long-serving member of the Supreme Court bench, Judge Fred Chomba, will also be acting appeal judges of the Supreme Court this year.
Judge O'Regan has been serving as an acting judge of appeal of Namibia's Supreme Court since February 2010. Judge Mokgoro, who was a judge of the Constitutional Court from 1994 to 2009, joins the Namibian judiciary for the first time.
The judges who were reappointed to the High Court bench in acting capacities for this year are Acting Judges Collins Parker, Kobus Miller and Petrus Unengu.
New Deputy Judge President Angula (59) has been practising law for more than 30 years. After first being appointed as an acting judge of the High Court in 1996, he has served in that capacity on several occasions.
He studied law at the University of the North in South Africa, where he graduated in 1982. Having joined the law firm Lorentz & Bone in Windhoek after graduating, he was admitted as a legal practitioner in 1985. He became a partner in Lorentz & Bone in 1987, remained with the firm until it was dissolved in early 2006, and thereafter was a director in the successor law firm Lorentz- Angula Incorporated, which is now trading as ENSafrica Namibia.
The post of deputy judge president was created in 2014 with the third amendment of Namibia's Constitution, which also brought the post of deputy chief justice into being. With the amendment of the Constitution, the Judge President of the High Court also holds the dual position of deputy chief justice.