The urgent application with the High Court of Namibia by Mutjinde Katjiua to interdict the chairperson of the OvaHerero Chief’s Council, Vipuira Kapuuo, was dismissed in the High Court this afternoon.
The application was removed from the court roll and Katjiua was order to pay the Kapuuo’s legal costs, including one instructing and two instructed attorneys.
On 30 March 2022 Katjiua who was appointed as the paramount chief and thereafter applied for an urgent interdict to have the court to restrain Kapuuo from proceeding with irregularly and unlawfully purporting to be the representative of the OvaHerero Traditional Authority representative and cancel the scheduled meeting of 7 to 8 April 2022.
Katjiua in his founding affidavit informed the court that he was appointed as the Paramount Chief of the OvaHerero people and therefore was acting as the duly authorised person by virtue of his election.
The meeting that was scheduled for last weekend was expected to identify those willing to compete for the paramount chieftainship.
Judge Herman Oosthuizen who delivered the Judgement said Katjiua’s application lacked the locus standi for him to bring the application as the paramount chief.
According to Katjiua, Kapuuo assumed the role of the acting paramount chief, but he cannot
claim the title, as he had rejected to accept the role during a vote on 27 June 2021 during a council meeting.
Thus, a vote was passed that the transitional committee, which was created after the passing of the late paramount chief, Vekuii Rukoro, will assume the role and responsibilities of acting paramount chief for the interim period, which Kapuuo rejected and according to Katjiua voted against himself.
Kapuuo was adamant that in terms of Ovaherero customary law, tradition and protocol, the chairperson of the chiefs’ council becomes the acting paramount chief of the Ovaherero traditional community upon the death or incapacitation of the paramount chief.
He claimed that Katjiua had no authority to stop him from calling a council or a senate meeting, because it is within his rights and responsibilities as chairperson of the chiefs’ council.
The Minister of Urban and Rural Development and Standard Bank were cited as second and third respondents respectively.
Kapuuo opposed the application or denied its urgency in his answering affidavit and questioned Katjiua’s authority to bring the application.
Katjiua admitted in his application that he was still to be recognised by the government in terms of the Traditional Auhorities Act.