Police chief, PG drawn into attack on squatter law

Police chief, PG drawn into attack on squatter law
Police chief, PG drawn into attack on squatter law

Africa-Press – Namibia. THE inspector general of the Namibian Police and Namibia’s prosecutor general must be added as parties to a case in which the activist Dimbulukeni Nauyoma is asking the High Court to declare the Squatters Proclamation of 1985 as unconstitutional.

Nauyoma must apply to have the prosecutor general and inspector general joined as parties in his pending case about the Squatters Proclamation by 29 July, judge Harald Geier ordered in the Windhoek High Court yesterday.

Geier also ordered that Nauyoma should pay the wasted legal costs of the government and attorney general, whom he cited as initial respondents in his case, after the matter was postponed to give him time to have the inspector general and prosecutor general added as parties with an interest in the case.

Nauyoma in September 2020 filed an application in which he is asking the High Court to declare the 1985 Squatters Proclamation as unconstitutional.

He took this step after he had been arrested in January 2019 and charged under the proclamation, following an incident in which he allegedly tried to prevent the demolition of a woman’s shack in Okuryangava in Windhoek.

Nauyoma says the proclamation is a relic from the pre-independence era which the apartheid administration used to deny the country’s people access to land and better housing.

He is also arguing that the proclamation effectively prohibits people from getting employed in a local authority area if they do not have accommodation in that area.

The proclamation violates the Constitution’s guarantee of human dignity and the protection of equality, Nauyoma is alleging as well.

In response to Nauyoma’s application, the minister of urban and rural development, Erastus Uutoni, in an affidavit filed at the court says Nauyoma should have also cited the prosecutor general and police chief as parties with an interest in the case.

Uutoni also says the court cannot repeal the entire proclamation, as that is the function of the country’s parliament and not the court.

Nauyoma raised “general and vague constitutional objections” to the proclamation, and the high-watermark of his attack on the law is that it dates from the previous regime, which is not a valid basis to claim that it is now unconstitutional, Uutoni says.

Nauyoma is being represented by lawyer Kadhila Amoomo.

Dennis Khama, instructed by government lawyer Neliswa Tjahikika, is representing the government and attorney general.

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