Interim victory for Killus
The Windhoek High Court yesterday dismissed with costs an application lodged by one of the factions of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority.
The application, which was submitted by the Traditional Authority’s Senior Councillor, Erastus Kahuure, and Ovambanderu throne claimant Aletha Nguvauva, asked the court to allow them to intervene in the review application lodged by Killus Nguvauva leader of the other Ovambanderu faction.
However, Judge Collins Parker ruled that Aletha was not from the royal blood of the Nguvauva clan and that Kahuure has no power exclusive to him and independent from the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority.
The two applicants claimed they have a direct interest in the matter. Killus appealed to the court to review the decision of the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Jerry Ekandjo, that the successor to the late Ovambanderu chief Munyuku Nguvauva II be determined through elections. That case is still pending.
The Ovambanderu Traditional Authority and Killus Nguvauva, Deputy Minister of Fisheries, who are cited as respondents in the matter have rejected the application by Kahuure and Aletha. The two factions are currently embroiled in a legal fight over the successor to the Ovambanderu chieftaincy.
Killus and his late half-brother Keharanjo Nguvauva were at the time when the review application was lodged, the two contenders vying for the chieftainship of the Ovambanderu community. However, Aletha, who was meanwhile designated and installed as Paramount Chief (or Queen) of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority in terms of their customary law, has come into contention for the position following Keharanjo’s suicide last year.
According to the Traditional Authority’s constitution, the chief shall only be designated from amongst the descendants of the royal blood of the Nguvauva clan and that succession to the position of chief shall be hereditary.
And the Committee of Eminent Persons from the Nguvauva clan should make a recommendation as to the person to be designated as chief.
The constitution further states that the recommendation made by the Committee of Eminent Persons shall be endorsed by the Supreme Council and the General Assembly of the Traditional Authority.
The judge further said that nowhere in the founding affidavit it is stated that Aletha is from amongst the descendants of royal blood from the Nguvauva clan. He therefore rejected Advocate Gerson Hinda’s arguments that she is from the royal blood of the clan.
According to Parker, it has also not been established that the recommendations made by the Eminent Persons have been endorsed by the Supreme Council as required by the Ovambanderu constitution. The Supreme Council consists of the Paramount Chief, all senior traditional councillors, Ozondangere (traditional priests), all General Marshalls of the Green Flag and the head of the Traditional Court.
The judge said there has been no successor nominated to succeed the late Paramount Chief Munyuku II and that the Supreme Council had not been properly constituted and so any decision to endorse the recommendation made by the Committee of Eminent Persons is invalid.