Keetmanshoop-Former //Kharas governor Dawid Boois and 21 others yesterday appeared in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate’s Court on charges of contempt of court. The 22 were arraigned for defying a court order issued by the Windhoek High Court in 2012 that no new traditional chief for Berseba may be inaugurated.
The /Hai-/Khaua Traditional Authority was the one duly recognised by government, with Chief Johannes Isaak and Deputy Chief Stephanus Goliath as legitimate leaders of the traditional authority in the Berseba area.
However, an unrecognised faction calling itself the Goliath clan (/Khaua) had been fighting to have their own chief and inaugurated Johannes Fleermuys as chief in December last year, despite a court order not to do so.
In the High Court ruling of 2012, it was ordered that Fleermuys may not be designated or inaugurated as chief of the said traditional authority; that he may not spearhead the inauguration of himself or anyone as chief, and that members of the Goliath clan may not take part in any activities for the purpose of inaugurating Fleermuys or anyone else as chief, as doing so would be illegal.
“The designation or inauguration of a new traditional chief for the Berseba community in contravention of the Traditional Authorities Act is illegal and null and void,” the High Court had ruled.
The court order, however, did not stop the group, as they reportedly ignored the ruling and inaugurated Fleerymuus as chief.
As a result, he along with current Berseba Constituency Councillor and Member of Parliament Dawid Boois, and 20 others made their first court appearance on Tuesday for defying the court order.
The court here was packed as members of the self-proclaimed Goliath Traditional Authority came to give their support to the 22 accused, while the Namibian police were also highly visible.
Magistrate Philanda Christiaan postponed the matter February next year for plea and trial. The group walked out of the court unshaken, and stood defiantly to pose for pictures in front of the courthouse.