Court dismisses Ondonga application

08 May 2017 14:00pm
WINDHOEK, 08 MAY (NAMPA) – An urgent application seeking an order to have Ondonga King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas examined by psychological and medical professionals to determine if he is still fit to discharge traditional responsibilities, has been dismissed.
High Court Judge Shafimana Ueitele handed down judgement here on Monday morning.
The application was dismissed on the grounds that the applicants instituted the legal action without obtaining authorisation from any authoritative body or person operating within the jurisdiction of the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA).
A group of eight suspended Ondonga traditional councillors, led by senior traditional councillor John Walenga, approached the High Court on 30 April 2017 seeking an order to have Elifas independently examined by a medical doctor and a psychiatrist.
The judge said the OTA did not authorise Walenga to bring the case before the High Court, saying he instituted the legal action in his personal capacity.
“There was no instruction or authorisation by the Ondonga Traditional Authority to bring the case before the High Court,” Ueitele said.
In addition, the case was completely struck off the roll of the Windhoek High Court. If the group want to bring the case back before court, they will have to start the process afresh.
Apart from paying the legal costs of his own lawyers, Walenga was ordered to foot the legal bill of the respondent (the king’s wife, Sesilia Elifas).
In the failed urgent application, the suspended traditional councillors particularly wanted the court to issue an order that would allow medical professionals to determine the physical, mental and emotional state of the king, as he is allegedly frail. They claim that his hearing, speech and memory have deteriorated.
They argued in court papers that there is a leadership crisis within Ondonga.
Ondonga traditional council chairperson Peter Kauluma, traditional council spokesperson Joseph Asino and senior councillors Walenga, Tonata Ngulu, Kashona Malulu, Joseph Akawa, Fillemon Nambili and Vilho Kamanya were suspended for challenging the king’s rule.
Their failed challenge alleges that the king is incapable of making sound decisions in the interests of the authority.
They also, through their affidavit, asked that the queen stop meddling in the affairs of the kingdom and related matters of power, duties and functions of King Elifas and the OTA as a whole.
Advocate George Coleman, assisted by Hilma Nambinga, appeared for the applicants.
Advocate Elia Shikongo, assisted by Advocate Sandra Miller, represented the respondent.