Namibian judiciary can take leaf from SA

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Yesterday the South African Supreme Court convicted sportsman Oscar Pistorius of murder, dismissing the High Court’s earlier conviction of manslaughter.
Pistorius was in fact convicted by the High Court last year already, having killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013.

What has particularly impressed me was the pace at which this case, with all its implications, was completed. So many witnesses – for both the State and defence team – testified in the matter. Investigations were conducted at the crime scene and many other things took place that could have delayed this case.

But the South African judiciary proved again that justice must be served in the shortest possible time. Here in Namibia, the opposite is true. Cases in this country take as many as ten years, and here I am not referring to the so-called Caprivi high treason case that is yet to conclude since it came into motion in 1999.
Cases such as that of Avid have been in court since 2005 and to date there is no end in sight for justice. With time so much evidence could get lost and we have seen courts dismissing cases because there is no more evidence on which to convict suspects – some of whom have really committed crimes.

In the Avid case, we have seen witnesses in the stands this year. Can those witnesses really give a reliable insight of what has happened 11 or 12 years ago? I have my doubts.

Jackson Namweya
Okalongo

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