RUNDU - Lawyer Bernhard Tjatjara, who recently opened his law firm to serve the Kavango East and West communities, says clients have for more than 20 years been severely hampered in communicating their difficulties to lawyers due to the language barrier.
“Other lawyers lack familiarity with Kavango people’s culture, tradition and values impede communication and therefore, the course of justice. Removing these obstacles by providing legal representation which factors in language, culture and location levels up things to a certain level for people in Kavango West and East,” noted Tjatjara.
Due to fewer options, most people looked for legal assistance from lawyers out of Kavango East to represent them in the local courts.
Tjatjara said the fact that many lawyers need to travel from Windhoek to Rundu, Ndiyona, Nkurenkuru, Mukwe, Divundu or to Kahenge to attend to legal matters contribute to high fees in litigation that clients must pay.
“Being geographically located in Rundu means those clients that engage our law firm, will not need to pay transport fees and accommodation for lawyers from our firm. The best time to plough back into the community is right now. We are here 24/7,” said the energetic lawyer.
Before opening his own firm, he was the legal advisor to Labour Resource and Research Institute (LaRRI), and a member of the Employment Services Board (ESB) that advises the minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Job Creation on labour matters and a member of the ad hoc Land Appeal Tribunal in the ministry of land reform.
Tjatjara is also an appointed conciliator and arbitrator at the Office of the Labour Commissioner, while he serves as the legal advisor to the Hambukushu Traditional Authority.
The law firm provides legal services in several areas of law, including criminal and civil litigation to labour disputes, drafting of commercial transactions, debt collection, competition law, intellectual property law and family law.
“We offer bespoke legal criminal litigation and commercial transactions drafting and advisory services by uniquely combining my commercial and legal expertise having worked as a prosecutor, magistrate and as a legal officer at Namibia Competition Commission,” he said.
“In the area of legal research training, I have trained shop stewards in labour matters of various trade unions, I also co-authored a chapter in the book titled ‘Supreme Court of Namibia: 30 years celebration’.”
Tjatjara is a managing director of his law firm and a member of the Law Society of Namibia.