13 February 2018

Namibia: Shanghala Wants N$500 000 From Job

Former attorney general Sacky Shanghala has sued Job Amupanda for N$500 000 over social media posts which stated that Shanghala was "an epitome and symbol of corruption in Namibia".

In court documents dated 4 December 2017, Shanghala said through his lawyers De Klerk Horn & Coetzee Inc that Amupanda implied that he engages in fraudulent and corrupt activities.

Amupanda made the comments on his Twitter handle #Dream1000@Shipululo and Facebook page while he was attending a symposium on US attorney generals, as a political scientist, in Qatar during November last year.

One of Amupanda's comments said the people of Namibia were shocked that Shanghala was not a practising attorney, and "thus not subject to the rules of practice and ethical conduct pertaining to practising legal practitioners".

Another post alleged that Shanghala was "an epitome (sic) and symbol of corruption in Namibia. That he purports the mane saves".

Shanghala also cites another post which Amupanda posted on his Twitter handle, where the former attorney general is in a photo with international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

Above the photo, Amupanda wrote: "'My son haven't you stollen (sic) enough? Please, my son, it's enough. Don't steal anymore'. If imaginations could become truth!"

Shanghala, who was moved to the justice ministry last week when President Hage Geingob reshuffled his Cabinet, said these posts on social media defamed him.

Shanghala added that Amupanda's comments further imply that he received kickbacks from the fees paid to UK-based lawyers hired to work on the genocide case.

Last year, Shanghala hired Namibian and European lawyers who charged N$36 million to research and review documents on the Herero/Nama 1904-1908 genocide, and to advise government on how to approach the issue.

Furthermore, Shanghala said Amupanda meant that he was "guilty of unconscionable and corrupt conduct unworthy of an attorney general".

According to Shanghala, the comments further meant that he was not a law-abiding citizen, is a corrupt individual, engages in criminal activities for personal gain, and is without any moral fibre.

Apart from the payment of N$500 000, Shanghala is also asking that interest should be calculated from the date of judgement until final payment.

Shanghala also wants Amupanda to foot the legal bill on an attorney-client scale.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Shanghala said: "And this is where I end the call. Goodbye."

Subsequent efforts to contact the minister failed after he cut calls, and never responded to messages sent to his phone.

Amupanda, through his lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo, yesterday gave notice to defend the matter.

Although Amupanda said he was initially shocked when he received the court papers, he told The Namibian yesterday that he was excited.

"This is an opportunity to have him (Shanghala) before the court so that he can answer to the lost millions in the genocide matter," Amupanda noted.

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