Namibia: Judiciary to Decide On Prosecutor General Interviews

The Office of the Judiciary says the public will be informed whether interviews for selecting the next prosecutor general will be held in public or not.

The judiciary said this after Affirmative Repositioning leader Job Amupanda, requested the Judicial Service Commission to conduct interviews for the advertised prosecutor general's position publicly.

The spokesperson for the Office of the Judiciary, Ockert Jansen, said the commission has not decided on issues raised by Amupanda.

In a letter to the secretary to the Judicial Service Commission, Uno Katjipuka-Sibolile, Amupanda said once this process and procedure succeed, it should also be extended to the appointment of judges.

Amupanda also wants the commission to make the names of the applicants public by the due date.

The Judicial Service Commission advertised the prosecutor general's position last month, but it was re-advertised last week with the deadline also moved from 16 to 30 October 2020.

"The public will be informed once the decisions have been made," Jansen said.

Special assistant to chief justice Peter Shivute, Sebastian Kandundu said he had been directed by the Judiciary Service Commission that the extension was necessitated by the amendment to the period of an applicant's admission as a legal practitioner from 15 to 10 years.

Kandundu added that the second amendment to the requirements is that only Namibian citizens can apply for the position.

The prosecutor general is responsible for prosecuting in the name of the state in criminal proceedings and has the authority to decide whether to prosecute suspected offenders or not.

Commending the Judicial Service Commission on the reduction in the number of years, lawyer Kadhila Amoomo questioned the motive of the commission, as it is not in line with the Constitution.

"The requirement that only Namibians can apply for the posts might be based on patriotism, but it is somewhat discriminatory, seeing that it is not sanctioned by the Constitution.

Amoomo said article 88 does not disqualify foreign persons, who otherwise meet the requirements to occupy the post.

"The JSC might find it difficult to justify not only the rationale behind the exclusion but also the constitutional impact of the exclusion.

"The Constitution does not exclude any person based purely on the number of years that they were admitted. The rationale may in this case be easy to explain, but is it constitutional?" Amoomo asked.

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