Court rules in fvaour of Stantoll in land dispute

07 Mar 2018 19:50pm
OSHAKATI, 07 MAR (NAMPA) – The High Court at Oshakati on Wednesday ruled in favour of Stantoll Properties, which approached the court to have Ongwediva resident Lukas Johannes evicted from land it intends to use for the expansion of Oshana Mall.
The construction company is owned by businessman Ben Zaaruka.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Zaaruka said in 2010, he bought a 2.1 hectare portion of land (referred to as Erf 6315) from the Ongwediva Town Council for N.dollars 1.3 million to construct the second phase of the Oshana Mall.
The portion of land forms part of land traditionally owned by Johannes and his family before Ongwediva was proclaimed a town in 1992. It was integrated into Ongwediva after the proclamation, but the council is yet to compensate the family.
Stantoll’s lawyer, Wilmarie Horn from W Horn Attorneys at Oshakati appeared for the company. She said the Johannes family are blocking further construction of the mall under the misunderstanding that they are the owners of the land in question.
Horn argued that communal land belongs to the State and its occupants only have the right to occupy it and do not have ownership rights.
She argued that Stantoll is the rightful owner of the land after purchasing it from the council, which took over as its custodian upon the proclamation of Ongwediva as a town.
Meanwhile, Johannes and the Ongwediva Town Counil told Nampa on Tuesday negotiations for compensation for the family are not yet finalised.
Judge Maphias Ched, who presided over the matter, granted an interim order for the Johannes family and their animals to be evicted from Erf 6315, which they use for grazing.
The court also ordered that the Namibian Police Force stationed at Ongwediva should assist Stantoll in arresting anyone who trespasses or obstructs the development of phase two of the mall.
Johannes and his family were represented by Marcia Amupolo from Amupolo and Company Inc, who asked the court to adjourn the matter for further arguments between the parties on a yet to be determined date.