Chairperson of the Namibia Premier League (NPL) Patrick Kauta is suing Young African Football Club owner Mali Ngarizemo of N$500 000 for defamation of character and further demands that Ngarizemo tenders an unreserved and unconditional apology for slandering his persona.
Kauta, a prominent lawyer and popular businessman, filed the defamation lawsuit yesterday in the Windhoek High Court, claiming that Ngarizemo – a staunch member of the scandalous Progressive Forces – 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 claims that 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 – whose club Young African FC status in the newly-formed Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL) is still a serious bone of contention as the club is yet to pay its N$100 000 fine in order to overturn its ban from partaking in all Namibia Football Association (NFA)-sanctioned activities – made the defamatory remarks on the Progressive Forces WhatsApp group on or about 6 March 2021.
On the said WhatsApp group, Ngarizemo is said to have accused Kauta of paying bribes to a certain Filipus Mayambi Dala and other members of the four northern regions (Oshana, Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshikoto) for them not to partake in the voting process at the 2020 NFA elective congress, which was won by the incumbent Ranga Haikali.
On the same WhatsApp group, Kauta – who is also chairman of Katutura glamour football club African Stars – claims that Ngarizemo went on to portray him as a corrupt and dubious person with poor morals and not fit to hold any leadership position.
As a result, Kauta feels aggrieved and his reputation unfairly damaged, and has therefore filed a N$500 000 defamation lawsuit against Ngarizemo, seeking damages and an unreserved apology from the latter without further delay.
“The defendant statements, innuendos, insinuations and suggestions were widely published to the sixty-two (62) participants of the aforesaid WhatsApp group and were further circulated out of the WhatsApp group to various other persons and groups who are not participants of the aforesaid WhatsApp group, including to the plaintiff and journalists.
The magnitude of the circulation of the publication is such that it is readily available to any user of smart electronic devices worldwide. The statements, innuendos, insinuations and suggestions by the defendant regarding the plaintiff are false and were published with the intention to defame the plaintiff,” reads part of Kauta’s combined summons that were served to the registrar of the High Court yesterday.
Reacting to Kauta’s defamation lawsuit against him, Ngarizemo yesterday said: “I have just seen this [lawsuit] now through your questions to me but I am not shaken by what I have seen because he [Kauta] is claiming to be the person I mentioned but whether it’s him that I mentioned or not is something that needs to be looked at, for now I am happily on my way to my farm Hajee Ranch to do a thing or two.
And by the way, my address is in Gobabis, not in Windhoek, so please let me drive safely and wait until the summons reach me. And when that time comes, you will be the first person I will call to have my say on this non-stop propaganda against me.”
Ngarizemo is no stranger to running against the law after having faced similar legal challenges last year when renowned veteran sports journalist Carlos Kambaekua opened a case (case number CR 335/04/20) of assault by threatening against Ngarizemo.
Kambaekua – who is more than 20 years Ngarizemo’s senior - at the time claimed that the Young African FC owner threatened him through WhatsApp massages, which were characterised by a barrage of unprintable insults. But Ngarizemo at the time denied ever having threatened Kambaekua.