Landless People’s Movement (LPM) leader Bernadus Swartbooi yesterday said he does not have anger issues despite causing much of a stir in the National Assembly in recent weeks.
Swartbooi, who addressed the media, said he is rather a jovial individual who is passionate about the core values of the party that he leads.
“I have no anger issues, except what I have is what they call in the Bible ‘righteous anger’ and I encourage many Namibians to join in righteous anger. Righteous anger has to do with individuals that stand up for injustices in society – join us in righteous anger,” the firebrand politician, who is a former deputy minister and regional governor, said.
“Let’s stand up for the poor, disempowered and the excluded. Join us in righteous anger. But to conclude that I have anger issues is wrong; I don’t have. I am happily married, father of children, and leader of people, including older people – they advised us and we listened,” said Swartbooi.
Swartbooi came under heavy criticism on Monday when he once again clashed with labour minister Utoni Nujoma in the National Assembly when he shouted: “Utoni, sit down… Idiots don’t speak while intelligent people are speaking”.
There has been open hostility between Swartbooi and Nujoma since 2017 when the former called his then immediate superior (Nujoma) at the land reform ministry an “idiot” in the National Assembly. Swartbooi made the remark whilst still serving as a Swapo MP and deputy minister of land reform.
Recently, Nujoma’s lawyers Metcalfe Attorneys wrote to Swartbooi demanding a written apology for allegedly insulting and belittling the labour minister on several public forums over the past few years. Nujoma’s lawyers also threatened to report Swartbooi, who is an admitted legal practitioner of the High Court, to the Disciplinary Committee for Legal Practitioners for his conduct “which is not befitting of a legal practitioner.”
Responding to Nujoma’s lawyers, the LPM yesterday said it was unmoved by the demand to force Swartbooi to apologise to his former superior. The LPM described the letter of demand as “unprofessional, arrogant, rude, insulting and discourteous”.
“Our knowledge of the post-apartheid era lawyer’s letters is that they are professional, respectful and written in polished language reflecting the present reality of a human rights culture,” the party said.
Turning on Nujoma, the LPM said the Swapo parliamentarian should have raised his concerns through the Committee of Privileges. The committee, among others, deal with matters relating to the conduct of members, including the misuse or abuse of rules of the National Assembly.
“Nujoma was instrumental in the establishment of the Committee of Privileges both in terms of an Act of Parliament and in terms of its composition. He was, at all material times, participating in making the law and appointment of the committee. The committee deals with allegations and complaints you raise. Had you properly constituted it, it would be much more competent to investigate and resolve the matter, rather than the street justice you insist upon,” the party stated.
2020-06-10 09:59:52 | 1 months ago