The Society of Advocates of Namibia deplores
the comments made by Mr Paulus Kapia concerning the Chief Justice
of Namibia in his capacity as the Secretary of the Youth League
of the ruling party, at a recent meeting held at Keetmanshoop.
Mr Kapia is reported to have suggested that the
Chief Justice should not have sanctioned the ruling of the Supreme
Court of Namibia in the recent appeal of The Government of
the Republic of Namibia and 2 Others versus G K Mwilima and 127
Others, as he is an employee of the Namibian Government.
Mr Kapia reportedly went on to suggest that the Chief Justice should
not be paid his salary in order that such funds be used to cover
the legal costs of the accused in the treason trial (as a sanction
for his concurrence in the ruling).
Mr Kapia clearly overlooks the fact that both
the Supreme Court and the High Court Benches, which were especially
enlarged, resulted in a situation where ultimately all 8 judges
involved agreed upon the essential outcome of that case and for
the need for state funded legal representation for the treason trialists.
This judgement now under attack by Mr Kapia was
a closely reasoned judgement reflecting a great degree of consensus
arrived at by the five Supreme Court judges, upholding in most part
the approach of the three judge High Court panel.
Mr Kapia significantly (and understandably) does
not take issue with any of the reasoning upon which the Court based
its rulings. Yet he sees fit to launch his unbridled and completely
baseless attack on the Chief Justice, thus undermining the independence
of the judiciary and the rule of law in Namibia, especially as he
does so in his capacity as an office bearer of the ruling party.
The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation surprisingly
saw it fit to give considerable prominence to Mr Kapia's uninformed
and baseless views without placing them in their proper context
as would be expected by the national broadcaster in accordance with
standard journalistic ethics and standards.
Unfortunately Mr Kapia's widely published remarks
have not as yet been repudiated or even qualified by his party's
leadership in government. The Society of Advocates calls upon the
Minister of Justice to make it clear to the Namibian public that
his Ministry and the Government of the Republic of Namibia disassociates
itself from Mr Kapia's statements which clearly serve no other purpose
but to undermine the rule of law in Namibia and demonstrate such
grave disrespect and contempt for the respected head of the judiciary.