Shanghala moves to repeal 140 obsolete laws

Home National Shanghala moves to repeal 140 obsolete laws

WINDHOEK – Parliament is determined to get rid of the existing 143 obsolete laws after the Minister of Justice Sacky Shanghala tabled the long-awaited Repeal of Obsolete Laws Bill (Bill No 21 of 2018) in the National Assembly recently.
The Bill provides for the repeal of certain obsolete laws and for incidental matters. 

Making her contribution during the Repeal of Obsolete Laws Bill (Bill No 21 of 2018) in the National Assembly, Swapo Chief Whip Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele said she is in support of the initiative of the Minister of Justice to get rid of obsolete laws. 
“When we speak of obsolete laws, we are referring to laws that are outdated and no longer responsive to a democratic Namibia. Some of these laws are very old, laws that were passed then, to meet a particular emergency and then just stayed in place. I believe that the Ministry of Justice and the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC] will be best placed to inform us why there was a delay in repealing these laws,” she noted. 

In 2010, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs conducted regional consultations in the Zambezi, Kavango East and West, and Otjozondjupa regions. The regional consultations focused on the accessibility of the Namibian legal and justice system. Concerns and frustrations with regards to obsolete and outdated laws also emanated from those public consultations. 

In its final report tabled in June 2011, that committee made specific recommendations requesting the LRDC to review or amend or repeal some of the outdated pieces of legislations. 

The laws the committee identified at the time were the Administration of Estates Act No 66 of 1965; The Wills Acts: No 7 of 1953; Intestate Succession Ordinance No 12 of 1944, Schedule 2 of the Administration of Estates (Rehoboth Gebiet), Proclamation No 36 of 1941, Laws regulating marriages north of the Red Line, Pension Fund Act and the Divorce Law. The committee recommended that the Ministry of Justice expedite the enactment of a statute dealing with divorce proceedings and provide for a no-fault grounds system. 

However, the Swapo chief whip said she is informed that this process is underway. 
Further, she said divorce proceedings can be expensive and endure for lengthy periods of time, which is an issue that touches on access to justice that equally requires urgent attention.

She expressed gratitude that Parliament passed the law and regulation regarding town, urban and regional planning through the Urban and Regional Planning Act (No 5 of 2018).

The intention of the Bill is to remove 143 proclamations, ordinances and Acts from the statute books, through the Repeal of Obsolete Laws Bill.

The Swapo MP said many of these laws, by-laws, regulations, proclamations and ordinances are discriminatory on the grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed and social and economic status.
She feels such outdated laws delay economic and industrial development in the country. 

Some of the obsolete laws that the House wants to repeal started being implemented from 1915.
Therefore, she reasoned that most of these laws were crafted with the intention to enforce apartheid white supremacy, to instil racial segregation, divide and rule Namibian people based on ethnic lines and to dehumanise them.