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Nauyoma ropes PG, Ndeitunga in squatter law challenge

2022-07-05  Maria Amakali

Nauyoma ropes PG, Ndeitunga in squatter law challenge
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Land activist Dimbulukeni Nauyoma wants to rope in the prosecutor general Martha Imalwa and police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga in court proceedings, as he challenges the legality of the Squatter Proclamation AG, 21 of 1985.

Nauyoma’s lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo last week informed High Court Judge Harold Geier that they intend on bringing an application to have Imalwa and Ndeitunga take part in the case proceedings. 

Since the hearing was scheduled to take place yesterday, Geier ordered that Nauyoma should bear the cost for last week’s proceedings. He also ordered that the intended joinder application should be filed on or before 29 July. The case was postponed to 17 August for a status hearing.

Nauyoma dragged the government and attorney general to court to get the Squatters Proclamation AG, 21 of 1985, declared unconstitutional and for it to be repealed. 

The particular Act, amongst many things, provides for the removal of persons unlawfully occupying land or buildings, and for the demolition of structures that are unlawfully erected.

In court documents, Nauyoma argues the Act does not make provision for circumstances under which unlawful land occupiers obtained the land.  Furthermore, it does not consider the period that person may have occupied the land from which eviction is being sought. The activist also highlights the Act does not make provision for special consideration of the rights of the elderly, children, disabled persons, and homes that are headed by women – and it further does not give provision for an alternative dispute solution surrounding the unlawful occupation of land.

Government have indicated that they will be opposing the application. On behalf of government, urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni, in his answering affidavit, indicated that Nauyoma is seeking a legislative relief and the court cannot grant such a relief.

On the order to have the proclamation repealed, Uutoni noted that Nauyoma is in essence inviting the court to legislate, that is, to perform the constitutional function of the Legislature. Nauyoma, according to Uutoni, had an option to approach and engage the National Assembly to consider repealing the proclamation.

Before instituting the legal challenge, Nauyoma was arrested in January 2019 for allegedly attempting to stop Windhoek City Police officers from demolishing a shack belonging to Okuryangava resident and a single mother of two, Wilhemina Shipingana.  

 He has been charged with counts of unlawfully entering the land, without having authority to, and without lawful cause. He is further charged for obstructing officers of the law from carrying out their duties.

Nauyoma is currently in police custody after he and seven others were arrested in May. They are accused of inciting public violence when they staged a protest against Chinese business owners, who they claim, are being allowed to sell counterfeit goods. The protests followed a revelation that the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) destroyed counterfeit goods worth N$5 million imported from China. The goods were perceived to belong to locals.

2022-07-05  Maria Amakali

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