Swapo chief whip supports tabling of Obsolete Laws Bill

29 Nov 2018 08:50am
WINDHOEK, 29 NOV (NAMPA) – Swapo Party chief whip and Member of Parliament, Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele on Tuesday came out strongly in support of the Minister of Justice when he tabled a bill to cancel outdated laws in Namibia.
Sacky Shangala tabled the Obsolete Laws Bill of 2018 that will provide for the cancellation of certain laws considered outdated in Namibia’s Constitution.
“I am standing today in support of the initiative of the justice minister to get rid of obsolete laws that are outdated and no longer responsive to a democratic Namibia,” said the chief whip.
Before giving her supporting statement, !Nawases-Taeyele quoted a study done by Angelique Groenewaldt with support from the Office of the Ombudsman and Konrad Adenauer Foundation to look at discriminatory and outdated legislation in Namibia, 20 years after independence.
The study found that when Namibia attained independence, the Constitution became the Supreme Law and laws enacted by the South African government remained in force afterwards by virtue of the appropriate provision of Article 140 of the Constitution of Namibia.
This means that all laws that were in power before independence remained in force until repealed or amended by an Act of Parliament.
!Nawases-Taeyele applauded Shangala for tabling the bill, saying the introduction of the bill marks a historic moment in Namibia.
“In 2010, a Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs conducted regional consultations in Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West where concerns and frustrations in regard to outdated laws emerged,” she said.
In June 2011, a report of specific recommendations was tabled requesting the Law Reform and Development Commission to review or repeal some of these outdated laws, she added.
Some of the identified laws were the Administration of Estates Act No 66 of 1965; The Wills Act 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 as well as the Pension Fund Act and Divorce Law.
“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 said.
!Nawases-Taeyele said she expected the bill referred to as an important piece of legislation to be brought to Parliament.
However, she was quick to point out that a project of this magnitude will not be an easy task as it will require thorough research by the legal staff in the Ministry of Justice and the LRDC.