Unprepared ECN, PDM lawyers hamper contempt of court challenge

Tujoromajo Kasuto

The contempt of court application sought by three Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) members against the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Chairperson, Advocate Notemba Tjipueja, for not adhering to a court order issued to have the member’s gazzeted as party’s rightful members of Parliament, was today struck off the roll by High Court Judges, Shafimana Ueitele, Hosea Angula and Thomas Masuku.

This is due PDM’s and ECN’s lawyers heads of arguments not being finalised because internal deliberations have not been completed.

The matter is struck off temporarily for the people involved to determine an appropriate date suitable for all participants, which judges say would most likely be by next year.

Three of the members of PDM, Charmaine Tjirare, Hidipo Hamata, and Reginald Diergaardt, through their legal representative, Norman Tjombe, had filled for contempt of court against Tjipeuja for failing to adhere to an Electoral Court ruling dating to July 2020.

The ruling instructed ECN and PDM to swear in six members of Parliament and remove the current six who were not on the Parliamentary list before the National Assembly elections in 2019.

Charmaine Tjirare Frans Bertolini, Tjekupe Katjimune, Raymond Diergaardt, Yvette Areas and Mike Venaani were nominated by PDM and gazetted as candidate list members for the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

After the elections and after garnering 16 seats in the National Assembly, PDM removed the names of the members, whose names had been gazetted and replaced them with the names of other members of PDM. The members, dissatisfied with the decision, approached the High Court seeking the review of the decision by the ECN to change the list at the instance of PDM.

The order further instructed that the swearing in of the current members Esmeraldan !Aebes, Johannes Martin, Kazeongere Tjeundo, Geoffrey Mwilima and Thimoteus Shihumbu as unconstitutional, unlawful and therefore null and void.

Subsequently they are then not the legitimately elected members as they additionally did not resign from their public service work as required for parliamentary list candidates.


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