ONGWEDIVA – The Ministry of Justice has directed the suspended faction of the Ondonga Traditional Authority councilors gazetted as justices and assessors to resume the community court proceedings which have been on hold following squabbles at the tribal authority.
“The Honourable Minister has therefore directed that the Ondonga Community Court resume at Onethindi with the equipment provided by the Ministry of Justice to ensure that the court is a court of record. The Clerk of Court will be announcing the necessary venue particulars,” read the press statement from the Ministry of Justice.
According to the statement, only those justices and assessors appointed by the Minister of Justice and published in the Government Gazette may enter the property for purposes of operating the community court and trying matters.
Although the same office was given the go-ahead to proceed with the community court, the process was halted again before any case could be heard.
At the time the Minister of Justice Sacky Shanghala said the rental fee of N$2 500 was incurring government unjustifiable costs.
It further clarified that the justices and assessors appointed under the Community Court Act, 2003 (Act No.10 of 2003) also hold positions in the traditional authority.
However, the justices and assessors of the Community Court are appointed by the Minister of Justice in terms of the provisions of the Community Act, 2003 while persons who hold positions in the traditional authority are appointed by the head of the traditional authority under the legislation administered by the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, the Traditional Authorities Act, 2000 (Act No. 25 of 2000).
“Due to this clear distinction in law and in appointment, disagreements in the Traditional Authority must not influence the Ondonga Community Court,” further read the statement.
It noted dysfunctionality at Ondonga Community Court has led to an increase in the Ondangwa magistrate’s court roll.
“It is hoped that with the directive to recommence operations at the Ondonga Community Court, the pile-up of matters may be addressed and a backlog at the Magistracy averted,” it stated.
According to the Ministry of Justice, community courts, especially the Ondonga Community Court, play a vital role in administering justice between families for wrongdoings.
2019-05-15 10:47:26 | 8 months ago