13 February 2018

Namibia: Minister of Justice Shanghala Sues Amupanda for Defamation

Windhoek — Newly-appointed Minister of Justice, Sacky Shanghala, is seeking N$500,000 in damages in a defamation case against land activist, Job Amupanda.

Shanghala sued Amupanda while he was the Attorney-General when he filed a lawsuit in the High Court last December against Amupanda over several comments made on social media, and during last year's Attorney Generals' symposium in Doha, Qatar, where Amupanda was in attendance.

According to court documents seen by New Era yesterday, on November 12, 2017 during the conference held in Doha, attended by various international

Attorney Generals, Amupanda posed certain questions to the panel, and in the process made the following remarks about Shanghala:

"That the people of Namibia is (sic) shocked that the Namibian Attorney General is not a practising attorney, and thus not subject to the rules of practice and ethical conduct pertaining to practising legal practitioners... ".

The documents also say Amupanda allegedly said Shanghala, "engaged UK lawyers regarding the Herero genocide matter against Germany and the defendant (Amupanda) uttered words to the affect that the lawyers who were so engaged 'pretended to work for 23 hours whilst it was biologically impossible to do so', and asking what the panels' advice would be where the Attorney General is involved in corruption."

In addition, the court documents further say in November last year, Amupanda posted a tweet on his Twitter account, which contained a picture of Shanghala and Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah intimating the following, "My son, haven't you stollen (sic) enough? Please my son, it's enough. Don't steal anymore. If imaginations could became TRUTH." Amupanda on November 20, posted again on Facebook the following: "Sakeus Edward Shanghala: An Epitome and Symbol of corruption in Namibia."

Shanghala's attorneys De Klerk Horn and Coetzee submit that utterances and comments published by Amupanda on social media implied that their client engages in fraudulent and corrupt activities; also implying that Shanghala somehow received kickbacks from the fees as invoiced by independent UK lawyers and therefore guilty of immoral conduct unworthy of an Attorney General.

The court documents by De Klerk Horn and Coetzee further state that the statements and, "the content of the publications are false and defamatory... " and as a result, Shanghala has had his reputation tarnished suffering damages in the amount of N$500,000.

In response yesterday, Amupanda took to Facebook saying: "Sackeus Shanghala, then as Attorney General, is taking me to court for asking, at an academic discussion; International Attorney Generals' conference in Doha; to advise on his corruption in the Genocide lost millions, same corruption concerns confirmed by the President and Finance Minister. We will take him on in court.

"For a start I will demand to be supplied with all invoices and documents from his office. His corruption will finally come to court, by his making, since the ACC failed to take him to task. Let's keep fighting corruption. Let the games begin. Thanks Sakeus Shanghala for a golden opportunity for me to fight corruption in court!"

De Klerk Horn and Coetzee Inc are representing Shangala, while Amupanda is represented by Kadhila Amoomo Legal Practitioners.

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