Vaalgras Concerned Group plans to sue Namoloh

03 Mar 2015 17:50pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 03 MAR (NAMPA) – The concerned group of the Vaalgras Oorlam community announced on Tuesday that it will coronate a new leadership on 30 May this year.
This is despite the fact that incumbent Chief Joel Stephanus still occupies the Traditional Authority seat he inherited 40 years ago.
Referring to themselves as the New Leadership of the Vaalgras Traditional Authority, the group said it also intends to sue Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Charles Namoloh over his inaction to de-gazette the current Vaalgras leadership.
“We have been tolerant and followed rules as peaceful citizens, but we have now stopped negotiating; we are going to court,” the group’s leader and chief-designate, Andries Biwa said.
During a media briefing here, Biwa rejected pronouncements by Namoloh on national television recently, which purportedly supports incumbent Chief Stephanus.
Biwa said his group followed all correct legal processes to elect a new leadership and to oust Stephanus and his councillors under a vote of no confidence on 04 June 2011. The group accused Stephanus of maladministration and bad governance.
The concerned group elected its leadership without the participation of Stephanus and his followers.
Instead, Stephanus approached the High Court requesting the concerned group to refrain from meddling in his leadership. He accused the group of misleading the Vaalgras community.
In May 2012, Judge Collins Parker ruled that the Traditional Authorities’ Act provided for the removal of a chief where sufficient reason such as bad governance existed.
On this basis, Biwa said his group provided ample reasons to the line ministry for the removal of Stephanus.
The minister, however, dismissed the request to de-gazette Stephanus on a number of occasions and in official correspondence to the concerned group.
The Vaalgras community factions and leadership dispute is entering its sixth year.