Amupanda denies defaming deputy minister

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Amupanda denies defaming deputy minister

Affirmative Repositioning activist Job Amupanda says he never intended to portray the finance deputy minister Maureen Hinda-Mbuende as a “cougar” despite her advances towards him. 

Colloquially, cougar is an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.

In his witness statement filed in the High Court, Amupanda said it was never his intention to portray the deputy minister as a “cougar” who has a “penchant for younger men”.

 He said he regards the deputy minister’s advances as a “human desire to be proximate to another and nothing more”.

“However, it appears that my refusal to be in proximate with her did not quite sit well and it appears that it also disqualified me from making jest commentary in honour of her heroic liberation struggle credentials,” said Amupanda.

Amupanda responded to Hinda-Mbuende’s amended notice, which now makes reference to his Facebook post on 19 January 2022 containing a picture of a newspaper article titled ‘Hinda sues Amupanda for N$1 million’. 

The image was accompanied by a caption stating “The consequences of rejecting the sugar from the mommy!”  

On the same day, he allegedly took to Twitter, and said “It all started with rejecting the sugar for the mommy!”

On 20 January, amongst other posts, Amupanda allegedly made another post stating “Etondo lyaantu lyaNehale is not for sale” accompanied by a newspaper posting. 

Etondo lyaantu lyaNehale is a nickname Amupanda has given himself referring to himself as a man of “testicular fortitude”.

Based on this post, Hinda-Mbuende claims that Amupanda maliciously made those posts after she sued him. 

She claims the tweets were meant to portray her as a cougar who desires younger men, an uncouth woman of loose moral values who wanted to buy sex from Amupanda. 

Furthermore, the posts were meant to portray her as a vindictive woman who now, as a result of being rejected by Amupanda, is suing him. 

The deputy minister’s original notice in her N$1 million defamation suit against Amupanda only made reference to a picture that the AR activist allegedly posted on 28 July last year. 

The Facebook post has a picture of a woman in clad jeans and a white t-shirt. The picture was accompanied by the wording, “It looks like deputy minister of finance Maureen Hinda during the liberation struggle. Maureen was soo WizWiz. It is like she won’t think twice about taking a knife out!”. Based on this post, Hinda-Mbuende claims the post was meant to be understood by the public that the woman in the picture was her in her youthful days and a street girl ready to fight at a moment’s notice.

She also claims the post is stereotypical in that her being Damara would not hesitate to stab anyone. 

In addition, the post is meant to be understood that she has no integrity, is a violent person capable of causing anyone bodily harm, an uncouth woman who was of loose moral values during the liberation struggle and not a law-abiding citizen. 

She further noted that the post paints her as a person who is unable to be trusted with public office, as she was violent and capable of causing bodily harm to someone.

Amupanda, however, is adamant that Hinda-Mbuende made advances toward him at the time he was part of the Swapo Party Youth League.

“Any reasonable person in my shoes with the knowledge that I once rejected her would possibly think that the plaintiff brought this action against me due to the fact that I rejected her and not because she misinterpreted my tweets and statements,” said Amupanda.

Amupanda said the version presented by Hinda-Mbuende is one sided. 

He said on 28 July 2021, he came across a picture that resembled an image Hinda-Mbuende posted of herself on social media in July 2017 – which was once again posted in January 2021. 

According to Amupanda, he posted the picture because it looked like the deputy minister during the liberation struggle. The image sparked a discussion in which Hinda-Mbuende and her brother participated. 

“The plaintiff is not defamed in any way… If anything, the post actually celebrates her bravery and the role she played in the liberation struggle,” said Amupanda.

He said what is before the court is a politician who seeks to use the court to settle political scores by presenting an inaccurate and skewed picture to the court. 

The matter, which was before High Court Judge Collins Parker on Wednesday, was postponed to 7 December 2022 for a pre-trial conference hearing.