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Lawyers object to slow justice

2021-04-23  Nuusita Ashipala

Lawyers object to slow justice
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Stakeholders in the administration of justice at Oshakati have expressed discontent of the disappearance of dockets and continuous postponements of cases.

Some of the cases alleged to have been disappearing are of a serious nature such as murder and rape, the police chief for Oshana Rauha Amwele alluded.

In addition to disappearing cases, Amwele said there is also a delay in getting dockets from courts back to the investigators to finalise investigations timeously.

Head of division at the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court, Mikka Namweya in response said some of the cases are postponed because the dockets are not available in court when the matter is on the roll.

On the issue of the disappearing dockets, Namweya, who did not make mention of the time, said some of the dockets were found lying in one of the prosecutors’ office.

“I do not know how far that matter has gone,” said Namweya.

Chairperson of the magistrate commission, Judge Orben Sibeya encouraged those on the bench to avoid unnecessary postponements and to only postpone matters when there are reasonable grounds to do so.

Officials in the justice fraternity were speaking at the meeting with Chief Justice Peter Shivute, justice minister Yvonne Dausab and Chief Magistrate Philanda Christian at the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The delegation is visiting the Oshakati District division to engage all the stakeholders involved in the administration of justice to seek solutions to the problems they continue to face in their daily work.

The team was also keen to hear the successes accomplished over the years and to educate the public on justice matters.

The Oshakati District encompasses courts in the northern regions, including Opuwo.

Another concern raised to be hampering efficient justice delivery is the shortage of magistrates that have slowed the progress of cases and continues to create a backlog of cases at both the lower and regional courts.

To address the problem, Christian said the judiciary is in the process of recruiting magistrates.

Some of the appointed magistrates at Oshakati Regional Court, Outapi and Ondangwa magistrate’s courts are expected to be in office between May and July already.

Christian said the commission is also in the process of proclaiming regional division to ensure that every regional court has a sitting magistrate daily in order to address the issues of backlog and to finalise matters speedily.

Currently, one regional magistrate serves three courts.

Lawyers represented by Jan Greyling of Jan Greyling and Associates decried the slow finalisation of cases.


2021-04-23  Nuusita Ashipala

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