Witbooi clan saga over throne now in High Court

04 Jul 2019 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 04 JUL(NAMPA) – An urgent application in which Namibia’s former ambassador to Zambia, Salomon Josephat Witbooi, wants to stop the planned coronation of the newly-designated leader of the Witbooi clan, kicked off in the Windhoek High Court on Thursday.
The hearing in respect of this urgent application commenced before High Court Judge Thomas Masuku on Thursday morning and is set to continue on Friday.
In the application, Witbooi is asking the High Court to issue an immediate interim interdict to stop and set aside the planned coronation of Hendrik Ismael ‘Isaxub’ Witbooi as the new designated leader or Kaptein of the Gibeon /Khowese clan.
Preparations for the coronation of Hendrik ‘Isaxub’ Witbooi are already in full swing and the event is scheduled to take place at the village of Gibeon in the Hardap Region on Saturday.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga and other senior government officials are expected to be present at the coronation ceremony after the ministry approved the application of Hendrik ‘Isaxub’ Witbooi for recognition over the past few months.
Thursday’s hearing of the application mainly centred on the issue of urgency - whether this case can be allowed to jump the long queue of filing cases before the High Court and be heard as an urgent matter.
In his heads of arguments, Government Attorney Ngatatue Kandovazu (for the respondents) strongly asked the court not to entertain the application because it does not meet the strict requirements to be heard as an urgent matter.
“This court should not allow this application to jump the long queue of the High Court. This application should be thrown out of this court,” said Kandovazu.
However, Dennis Khama who is representing the applicants, wants the court to allow the application to be heard on an urgent basis.
The former Namibian ambassador to Zambia was installed as the leader or Kaptein of the Witbooi clan in a controversial event on 06 October 2015 amid unresolved succession disputes within the members of the Witbooi clan.
He wants to succeed former Prime Minister Hendrik Witbooi, who led the Witbooi clan for 31 years until his death in 2009.
Furthermore, the coronation ceremony in respect of the former ambassador was also boycotted by several members of the Witbooi Traditional Authority Council as well as government officials.
The applicants in the matter are Ambassador Salomon Josephat Witbooi, Elizabeth Kock Witbooi, Christina Fredericks, Anna Jacobs and Penias Eduart Topnaar.
The respondents are Minister Mushelenga, President Hage Geingob, Hendrik Ismael Witbooi, Simon Otto Jacobs and traditional leaders of the Witbooi Traditional Authority.
Lawyers Sylivia Kahengombe and Jolanda Hinda are assisting Kandovazu.