Former member of parliament Alois Gende has dragged a Facebook user to court, where he is demanding N$3 million in damages after an alleged slanderous post about him.
According to court papers, the post about him on 5 February 2021 is not only slanderous but wrongful, malicious and false.
Gende claims Anna Hakusembe, who is employed as a project administrator at a local university, intentionally, unlawfully, wrongfully and maliciously made the false statements to defame and injure his good reputation.
This, he said, is causing him irreparable personal, financial, reputational damages, defamation of character and emotional and psychological distress, according to his particulars of claim filed at the High Court by his lawyer Vernon Lutibezi. Gende, who is a former DTA secretary general, further said despite a request to Hakusembe to delete or remove the posts, she has refused, neglected or failed to adhere to his demands.
As a result, he said, he was left with no choice but to approach the High Court for remedy and is asking for N$3 million in damages and interest of 20% per annum until the date of full payment and cost of suit.
Gende, who also had a stint with the All People’s Party, has since joined Swapo.
In her posts, Hakusembe accused Gende of being a dishonest person and joined Swapo as “it is the only survival of his fetus” [sic].
She further stated he manipulated the late Sambyu traditional leader, Angelina Matundu Ribebe, to acquire all he has today to the extent that her children are losing almost everything owned by their mother.
She claimed Gende managed to acquire fishing quotas meant for the VaSambyu people and that the reason the Sambyu Traditional Authority is in such a mess is because of his involvement in it.
“He is nothing than a self-centred player and should never be trusted with all your dealings, especially those that are meant to benefit the entire community,” Hakusembe posted.
According to the letter of demand that Lutibezi sent to Hakusembe, the false statements she published as fact caused harm to Gende’s personal and professional reputation, and other damages such as financial loss.
He further said other Facebook users caused injury to his reputation by posting derogatory and defamatory comments as a result of her posting.
“As a result of these written statements, an impression was created in minds of any reasonable person in general, friends, family, children and grandchildren, business associates, workmates, colleagues and other unknown persons in society to believe that our client is not an honourable man,” the lawyers wrote.
They had demanded that Hakusembe retract her posts and issue a public apology to Gende within one day or they will approach the High Court.
Hakusembe did not indicate on the e-justice system whether she will oppose the lawsuit and efforts to get comment from her were in vain, as the cell phone number provided was not reachable.
Gende is the latest in a string of Namibians who turned to the court for reprieve from alleged social media abuse.
In March, Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) spokesperson Immanuel ‘Imms’ Nashinge landed in hot water after he used the word “prostitute” in a comment about socialite and social media influencer Beata Siteketa, also known as Betty Davids, in a post he made in a WhatsApp group discussion.
Nashinge was charged with a count of crimen injuria and Siteketa also sued for N$400 000 in a defamation claim filed at the Windhoek High Court.
In March, prominent lawyer, football administrator and businessman Patrick Kauta sued Young African Football Club owner Mali Ngarizemo for N$500 000 for defamation of character and further demanded that Ngarizemo tender an unreserved and unconditional apology for slandering his persona.
Kauta claimed Ngarizemo accused him of having paid bribes, of having acted corruptly or unlawfully in his business dealings and also portrayed him as a person with no professional credibility and integrity.
Not only that, but Kauta further claimed Ngarizemo intentionally made the alleged insults with a sole purpose to injure his reputation and lower his esteem in the eyes of the sport, business and law fraternities as well as the general public.
According to Kauta, Ngarizemo, who owns Young African FC made the defamatory remarks on the Progressive Forces WhatsApp group on or about 6 March 2021.
First Lady Monica Geingos, represented by lawyer Sisa Namandje, also filed a lawsuit against a regional mobiliser of the IPC, Abed Hishoono, for N$350 000, for making false suggestions, innuendos, insinuations and statements about her in an audio recording.