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Home / ‘Come as spectators’ … Rukoro’s widow tells Kapuuo faction 

‘Come as spectators’ … Rukoro’s widow tells Kapuuo faction 

2022-07-06  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

‘Come as spectators’ … Rukoro’s widow tells Kapuuo faction 

The family of late Ovaherero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro has warned acting traditional authority leader Vipuira Kapuuo and 16 others against coming anywhere close to arrangements concerning the unveiling of the departed chief’s tombstone.   

In the most recent development in the never-ending Ovaherero infighting, Dinah Rukoro, the surviving spouse of the late chief, informed the Kapuuo faction in a letter seen by New Era that they have decided to give disputed paramount chief-designate Mutjinde Katjiua the power and responsibility to plan, direct and manage the late chief’s tombstone unveiling. Rukoro’s son, Nguvitjita, brother Hiripura Kuhanga and uncle Jaruavi Katoore are the other family members who are against Kapuuo’s involvement. 

“We are, therefore, instructed to demand, as we hereby do, that you in your individual capacity and/or collective capacities immediately seize and desist from involving yourself and/or yourselves, or purporting to be involved, in the organisation, overseeing and/or conducting or being in charge of the abovementioned tombstone unveiling,” the letter reads. “You are, however, free to attend and pay your respects as [a] spectator (s).” The letter, which is dated 1 July 2022, was written by lawyer Katuna Kuhanga from KHS Law Incorporated.

 Kapuuo’s spokesperson Uazuva Kaumbi said when contacted for comment yesterday that they are busy responding to the letter through their lawyers.   

Meanwhile, the widow said should her request not be heeded, she holds instructions to approach the court for interdictory relief on an urgent basis. “This letter will be used as evidence to request for an adverse cost order to be issued against you in your individual capacity and/or collective capacities.” 

Family spokesperson Phillip Kavetuna recently announced that the late Rukoro’s tombstone unveiling was set to coincide with the annual Red Flag commemoration in Okahandja during the weekend of 15–17 July. He said the decision on the unveiling of Rukoro’s tombstone was taken collectively by the paternal and maternal families during a meeting held at the late Rukoro’s homestead of Omutukururu in the Okakarara constituency, Otjozondjupa region. 

Rukoro, who died in June last year at the age of 66, was buried at the Ovaherero burial site at Okahandja on 18 July. Since Rukoro’s passing, Ovaherero leaders have been at each other’s throats over who should facilitate the transitional process. This led to the emergence of two factions, one supporting Kapuuo, who at the time of Rukoro’s death was the chairperson of the chiefs’ council, which is traditionally tasked with facilitating the transitional process.  

The other faction of academic Katjiua feels Kapuuo was not fit to facilitate such a process.  Katjiua was elected by his faction of the OTA as paramount chief. In April this year, he lost an urgent application in the High Court in which he wanted Kapuuo not to act as though he represents the traditional authority. High Court judge Herman Oosthuizen ruled that Katjiua will, in his personal capacity, pay the costs of the first respondent (Kapuuo), which shall include the costs of one instructing and two instructed counsel.

2022-07-06  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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