Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) member and teacher Abed ‘Bishop’ Hishoono has asked the court to show mercy when deciding on how much he should fork out in a defamation suit filed against him by First Lady Monica Geingos.
“I am asking for the court’s leniency and mercy in the judgement conclusion. This money that I am being sued for is double my yearly income,” he said in his closing arguments. Hishoono, who opted to represent himself in the matter, asked the court to consider ordering him to carry out community service instead of a monetary payment if the court comes to the conclusion that he defamed the First Lady by “repeating gossip”.
“Thirty-nine children in my class would not be taught, as I won’t be mentally well. I will only be thinking of ways on how I would pay the money,” Hishoono pleaded.
He further submitted that what he said is wrong, and if “taken out of context”, it may be harmful. He also argued that he was only sued because he is a member of the IPC.
While submitting his closing statement, Hishoono tried to introduce new evidence in his defence. However, judge Orben Sibeya explained court procedures, and informed him that he cannot produce new evidence during submissions.
The presiding officer also informed him that the court cannot give an order for community service because that is not permitted by law in matters of this nature.
Geingos filed a N$350 000 defamation lawsuit against Hishoono for producing and sharing a video in which he allegedly made “false suggestions, innuendos, insinuations [or] statements” about her.
In the video, Hishoono alleges that the First Lady corruptly influenced the planned liquidation of Air Namibia to protect and advance her own economic interests as she is a shareholder of Westair Aviation, and was instrumental in its establishment. He further alleges in the video that Geingos has a son with one ‘Hatuikulipi’, who is currently in prison. He went on to say Geingos’ marriage to Head of State Hage Geingob was arranged by ‘Hatuikulipi’.
Arguing on behalf of Geingos, Sisa Namandje asked the court to grant the orders sought, citing that it would be a deterrence.
He noted that Hishoono is not remorseful for his actions, and he made this clear during his testimony during the hearing and through social media.
“We argue that the defendant (Hishoono) is not a candidate for mercy when the court decides on quantum. He was merciless and aggressive in his attacks towards the applicant (Geingos)… he has no civility nor manners,” the lawyer submitted.
Namandje further argued that Hishoono tried to paint himself as a victim when he claimed that the lawsuit against him was filed due to political reasons.
The First Lady is seeking payment of N$350 000, and an order declaring that what Hishoono said in the video is false and defamatory to her. She further seeks an order directing Hishoono to unconditionally retract the statements, and to unconditionally and wholeheartedly apologise to her.