24 Jan 2014 12:40pm
WINDHOEK, 24 JAN (NAMPA) A decision taken by former Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Jerry Ekandjo to endorse Manasse Zeraeua as the legitimate chief of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority, has backfired.
The minister's decision to endorse Manasse Zeraeua as the legitimate chief of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority was set side in a judgement handed down by High Court Judge Shafimana Ueitele here on Friday morning.
The judgement was delivered upon the conclusion of the hearing of an application brought before High Court Judge Ueitele by a rival heir to the throne, Chief Raphael Kapia and his supporters.
According to the judgement, the decision taken by Ekandjo has been set aside, and the court did not substitute the minister's decision with anything else.
In addition, the court also did not confirm who the legitimate chief of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority is at the moment - Manasse Zeraeua or Raphael Kapia.
In the result, this means that the process of electing a legitimate chief for the Zeraeua Traditional Authority will now be starting afresh.
Reports carried by the Namibian Sun last year had it that Ekandjo had endorsed Manasse Zeraeua as the legitimate chief of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority despite Kapia also submitting a letter to the minister to be recognised as the legitimate chief.
These squabbles then forced Kapia and his group of supporters to challenge the minister's decision by bringing the successful application before court.
According to reports, Kapia turned to the courts to try and get recognition after he allegedly received no response from the offices of the presidency and prime minister on the matter.
The squabbles over the chieftaincy for the Zeraeua Traditional Authority began after the death of the late Chief Christian Manasse in 2012.
Christian Eerike Zeraeua took over the chieftaincy from his uncle Chief Kapia following Kapias death in 1979.
Kapia is also Raphael Kapias father, hence the argument that he should be the one to take over as chief.
However, followers of Manasse Zeraeua believe that he is the rightful heir to his fathers throne in accordance with the Herero culture and tradition, which apparently dictates that the first-born child of a chief automatically becomes the heir upon that chiefs demise.
Windhoek-based defence lawyer Kahijata Kangueehi represented Kapia and his supporters.
Joshua Kaumbi appeared for Chief Manasse Zeraeua and his group.
Government Attorney Jabulani Ncube appeared on behalf of the Namibian Government and Ekandjo.