Former education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa and former Rehoboth town councillor Colleen van Wyk have reached a settlement in their N$250 000 defamation suit.
Van Wyk sued Hanse-Himarwa last year over her Facebook posts, which she claims were defamatory to her image and reputation.
According to court documents filed yesterday, the pair have since reached an out-of-court settlement. However, the details will remain unknown, as they
have agreed to a confidentiality clause.
The agreement was reached after the parties failed to reach a consensus during mediation in August.
In the suit, Van Wyk, who is on the Swapo central committee, said the former minister defamed her when she called her a double roller between opposition political parties, a bat, jackal and called her out to declare which political party she actually voted for. Furthermore, Hanse-Himarwa’s comments, which she made in relation to an article where Van Wyk’s son, Rudi van Wyk, who is the deceased former mayor of Rehoboth on the Rehoboth Independent Town Management Association (RITMA) ticket, blamed the Swapo administration for historical debt, painted her as a dishonest person.
Also, the remarks paint her as being disloyal to the interests of the Swapo party, deceitful and of questionable character, and untrustworthy.
The former education minister in her Facebook posts questioned why Rudi was blaming Swapo for historical debts when his mother was part of Swapo’s previous administration of the town.
She said, “his own mother was a Swapo councillor of Rehoboth. So, his mother is part of the failure in the past. His mother is also currently a member of the Swapo CC and she is also a national assigned leader to the Hardap region. When he blames Swapo, he must equally declare his interest of the mother. Of mati?”
She further commented saying, “he is blaming Swapo for historical debts. I thought it was only ethical to declare that those debts were accumulated under the watch of his mother as Swapo mayor. He was a beneficiary of the non-payments as he was enjoying the allowances and S&T his mother was receiving.”
Hanse-Himarwa said her words were taken out of context.
“These wordings were taken and misinterpreted out of the original context meaning of interpretation whereof I was taken as an enemy by the applicant, whilst it was not supposed to be that way,” said Hanse-Himarwa.
Thus, she filed a countersuit claim of N$6.8 million.