Namibia: Court Battle Rages During Kauluma's Memorial

12 April 2019

Windhoek — While other members of the Aandonga community were in attendance of yesterday's memorial service of their late leader Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, lawyers for two factions fighting over the crown were at each other's throats in the Windhoek High Court.

The court was approached to decide whether an urgent application brought by two members of the royal house to stop another member from acting as if he was the successor to the throne was urgent

indeed.

After hearing four hours of oral arguments on the urgency of the matter without going into the merits of the case, Acting High Court Judge Claudia Claasen rolled the matter over to today for her ruling on the urgency.

Oscar Sheehama and Konisa Eino Kalenga want the court to interdict Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo from acting in any manner as if he is the successor to the crown of the late Omukwaniilwa (king) Immanuel Kauluma Elifas.

Advocate Elize Angula, who represented Nangolo and the Ondonga Traditional Authority, asked the court to rule the matter not urgent and strike it from the roll.

According to her, the matter is not urgent, as the applicants already knew from 2002 that the late king appointed Nangolo as his deputy and successor. She said the decision was taken in consultation with senior councillors of the traditional authority and that decision stands.

She further said that for the applicants to come to court at eleventh hour to ask the court to make a decision on a decision that was authorised by the traditional authority was sanctimonious.

"The applicants further have the audacity to inform this court that the issue of bringing the application was drafted while the late king was still alive," Angula charged.

She further stated that Nangolo was appointed as successor to the late king on October 5, 2004 and that decision has not been revoked in any way.

"That decision cannot be revoked without authority and without communication to the relevant authority," Angula emphasised and continued that the decision remains and the revocation is thus ineffectual.

She further said that the applicants, if they were so inclined, could have already rushed to court in 2017 when the king dismissed Nangolo and other councillors to have the decision to appoint Nangolo, as successor to the thrown declared null and void.

But they failed to do that and now bring an application after Omukwaniilwa has died, she said. "This answers your question on urgency,"Angula told Judge Claasen.

She further said Nangolo only started acting in a manner befitting his position as the successor to the throne.

Advocate Dennis Khama, on behalf of the applicants argued that they are not against the crowning of anybody as king, but only want the court to interdict Nangolo from acting as if he is already king.

She further said that the application is about following the correct procedures. He further said the appointment remains invalid, as it is not supported by law.

"In the eyes of the law which governs appointments of kings and chiefs, there can only be one king or chief until the current one dies and then a succession procedure follows," he said.

He said the conduct of Nangolo contradicts the Act that governs traditional authorities and customary laws. According to Khama, the application is not about succession, but about the conduct of Nangolo.

What they seek from the court is to stop an illegal process that is ongoing, Khama stressed. He asked the court find that the matter is urgent and to issue an interim order restricting Nangolo from his unlawful conduct. Kauluma will be laid to rest tomorrow at Olukonda.

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