Coronation is still born and void

17 April 2019 | Menings

The purported coronation last Sunday (April 14 2019) of Ondonga Crown Prince Konis Eino Kalenga as new Ondonga king is dead upon arrival. Here’s why and how:

Independent Namibia is a State governed in accordance with the principles of: (1) democracy; (2) the rule of law, and (3) justice for all (see Article 1(1) of Namibian Constitution.

All nominations, appointments and designations of all and any head of a traditional community are carried out in accordance with the Traditional Authorities Act (Act 25 of 2000). According to Sections 1 (“definitions”) and 14(a) this Act and the Constitution override all and any other customary laws, customs, norms, practices or usages of any traditional community, and this includes those of the Ondonga Traditional Community.

Sections 2 and 9 of the Act make provision for the establishment of traditional authorities, in this case the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA) and the OTA has jurisdiction (i.e. powers, duties and functions) over all and any members of the community. This means that the OTA also has jurisdiction over Ondonga Crown Princess Kuku Selma Gwanandjokwe Shejavali and Crown Prince Konis Kalenga.

According to Sections 3(1) (e) and 3(1) (h) of the said Act, it is OTA and only OTA which has the powers, duties and functions to perform traditional functions and ceremonies within the community.

Hence, all nominations, appointments and designations of all and any head, chief or even king are also administered and executed exclusively by the OTA.

According to inter alia Section 14(a) of the Act, any customary or traditional law, norm, custom, practice or usage which runs counter to Article 10 of the Constitution is ipso facto void and or ceases to exist. Article 10 prohibits discrimination and or distinction of any kind such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

This then means that, simple because Crown Prince Shuumbwa II is younger than say, Crown Princess Kuku Selma Shejavali and Crown Prince Konis Kalenga, that in no way disqualifies him from being installed as new Ondonga king.

According to Section 5(1) (a) of the Act and relevant case law (see for example the High Court judgment in Kapika case), read with Section 4(1) a) of said Act, prior notification of designation or coronation of a traditional chief, or head or even king is in this case the exclusive territory of the OTA.

Moreover, in accordance with Section 3(4)(a) and 3(4)(b) of the said Act, it is criminal to install or coronate another chief, head or even king when a chief, head or even a king has already been designated and or coronated.

From the above legal facts, it is my considered legal opinion that Crown Princess Kuku Selma Gwanandjokwe Shejavali (with all my love and respect for her) has neither powers, duties and functions nor legal standing in law (locus standi in judicio) to install Crown Prince Konis Kalenga as new king of Ondonga.

However, Crown Princess Shejavali, like any other members of OTC has legal standing to challenge in Court the coronation of King Shuumbwa II. Also crown Princess Shejavali and or any other members of OTC have legal standing to institute an urgent application in High Court to prevent the Minister of Urban and Rural Development to recognize King Shuumbwa II. However, although such urgent application has reasonable prospects of succeeding on the point or urgency, it has very little if any chance of succeeding on merits.

Based on the above legal reasons the Government of Namibia will have no jurisdiction to lawfully recognize and or approve the coronation of Crown Prince Konis Kalenga as successor of late King Elifas. In any event, such recognition amounts to fruit of a poisonous tree.



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