Court Rules on Mbanderu Dispute

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek Some members of the Concerned Group of the Mbanderus accepted yester-day’s High Court ruling to reinstate the 11 expelled traditio-nal leaders, but with some scepticism. The close to 200 Mbanderu community members who packed the gallery of Court B could not believe their ears when they heard the ruling of High Court Judge Elton Hoff as many expected a protracted legal battle following the feud between the two parties. However, the court proceedings were very brief and Judge Hoff ruled in favour of the application made by the Concerned Group, which is led by Senior Counsel Erastus Kahuure. The legal representative of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority Advocate Harold Geier had no objection to the application. Hoff thus ordered that the 11 traditional councillors be reinstated in their previous positions and areas of jurisdiction with immediate effect. The Judge also ordered that an urgent application seeking to reverse the implementation of the current and alleged questionable Constitution of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority as well as the reinstatement of the 11 expelled traditional councillors, only be heard within a period of two months if negotiations between the two parties failed to produce a lasting settlement. New Era has learned that the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority failed to submit their answering affidavit to the High Court on the set deadline of April 28, 2006 and instead were seeking for an out-of-court settlement. A party atmosphere at the Ovambanderu traditional departure point in Richard Tji-ramba Street in Katutura followed the news of the initial victory of the reinstatement of the councillors. The fundraising that has been going on since the weekend seemed to have start-ed all over and stopped only before 14h00 when the crowd that had earlier in the morning thronged the High Court had to transfer to the Church of Africa hall. The crowd grew even bigger in the hall. Those who could not witness the morning event trickled into the hall steadily with time, narrowing the space in the 500 or so capacity hall. Prime mover of the challenge against the Ovambanderu Constitution, Senior Chief Erastus Kahuure, cautiously victorious, said it might not be time yet for words of victory.

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