19 December 2016

Namibia: President Appoints Acting Judges

FORMER South African Constitutional Court judge Yvonne Mokgoro, erstwhile High Court judge Theo Frank, and a long-serving member of Namibia's Supreme Court bench, judge Fred Chomba, have been appointed as acting judges of appeal in the country's top court during next year.

The Judicial Service Commission, which recommends the appointment of judges to the President, announced at the end of last week that Mokgoro, Chomba and Frank were appointed as acting judges of appeal for the period from 1 March to the end of December 2017.

Together with the Chief Justice, deputy chief justice and three full-time appeal judges currently on the Supreme Court bench, they will form the pool from which judges can be selected to hear appeal cases in Namibia's highest court during 2017.

While the Zambian-born judge, Chomba, is a long-serving acting judge of appeal in Namibia, Mokgoro was a judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from 1994 to 2009 and also served as an acting judge of appeal of Namibia's Supreme Court during 2016.

Frank was a judge of Namibia's High Court from 1990 until he resigned in 1996, and has since then continued to practise law as a senior counsel and member of the Society of Advocates of Namibia. He has previously also served as an acting judge of appeal of the Supreme Court, and has had several stints as an acting judge in the High Court after he resigned as a full-time judge.

The Judicial Service Commission further announced that current High Court acting judges Collins Parker, Kobus Miller and Petrus Unengu have been reappointed for the period from the start of January to the end of March 2017.

Parker was an acting judge from March 2006, was appointed in a full-time capacity from November 2006, and has continued to serve as an acting judge since he reached judges' legal retirement age of 65 in 2012.

Unengu and Miller have been serving as acting judges since January and April 2011 respectively.

Windhoek-based lawyer Boas Usiku, who has been on the High Court bench as an acting judge since September this year, has also received the presidential nod to continue serving in that position until the end of March 2017, the commission announced.

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