Archive 2009

Archive 2009

Dec 2009

Opinion: Withdrawing a Rape Case – Are You Making the Right Decision?
18 Dec 2009: How can a rape case be withdrawn and the suspect released, without the case appearing in court? The issue of rape case withdrawals is investigated and further explained in this article.

Nov 2009

Opinion: Gender: are the parties serious?
November 2009: Will gender issues matter in the forthcoming elections? They might. In a recent survey of voters in Keetmanshoop, Windhoek, Otjiwarongo and Rundu sponsored by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, respondents cited gender inequality as a concern, noting the vulnerability of women, the problem of gender-based violence and women’s unequal access to job opportunities.

Oct 2009

Opinion: Inter-country Adoption: the complexities behind the conflict.
01 Oct 2009: The issue of inter-country adoption made front-page news in The Namibian of September 24. This piece is intended to provide information to the public about inter-country adoption as the issue is more complicated than it may seem at first.

Sep 2009

Aug 2009

July 2009

Court Holds Police ‘Responsible’ for Suspect’s Suicide
27/07/2009: The Supreme Court of Namibia on Thursday reversed a High Court decision to only award 20 percent damages to the son of a man who committed suicide while in police custody.

Cattle Theft Act to be Challenged
24/07/2009: A man sentenced to 20 years for stealing nine goats hopes to make history by having the law that took his freedom three years ago declared unconstitutional. Protasius Daniel (23) has instructed the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) to file an application in the High Court, calling for the setting aside of Section 14(1)(a) of the 1990 Stock Theft Act.

Squatters Win High Court appeal to Stay
22/07/2009: Illegal squatters living in Windhoek’s Havana 6 settlement yesterday emerged victorious from the High Court, after appealing to have the Windhoek municipality’s actions of evicting them and demolishing their shacks stopped.

Illegal AIDS Testing Case to Go to Court
17/07/09: The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) is set to embark on uncharted territory next week, when it leads 22 employees and former employees of an Oshakati lodge into a court battle with their employer.

Council Mistakes Exposed it to Unnecessary Lawsuits – LAC
15/07/09: Misplaced priorities and a lack of political will at the Windhoek Municipality have exposed the City to potential law suits, as its recently approved budget will hamper the local authority in meeting its statutory and constitutional obligations to provide basic services, the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) said yesterday.

Bashir Support in Conflict with Constitution – LAC
10/07/09: Namibia’s endorsement of the African Union (AU) decision not to co-operate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in respect of the arrest and surrender of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, means the country is breaking its international treaty obligations and defying the Namibian Constitution, the Legal Assistance Centre said yesterday.

June 2009
Forced Sterilisation Claims in Court Soon
24/06/2009: Fifteen women who claim that doctors at State hospitals across the country sterilised them against their wishes will soon get their day in court. The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) yesterday confirmed that court dates have been set down in October and November for several of the cases.

Opinion: Are The AU And SADC Still Relevant For Ordinary People?
05/06/2009: In March 2009 the Southern African Development Community (SADC) suspended Madagascar’s membership from the regional grouping until the country returned to a constitutional order. This was the first time that SADC suspended a member country for violating the SADC Treaty, but it was not the first time that such an opportunity arose.

LAC wants Gov’t to Protect Conservancies
05/06/2009: The recent invasion of Otjiherero farmers will negate the few gains Nyae Nyae Conservancy has achieved since its establishment. LAC Director Norman Tjombe says conservancies have been provided with inadequate protection and there is a need to strengthen laws governing the establishment of conservancies.

Spy bill unconstitutional: LAC
05/06/2009: The interception clause inserted in the Communications Bill, to allow the country’s spy agency to tap into people’s private communications without a court order, is a blatant violation of the right to privacy and dignity, Norman Tjombe of the Legal Assistance Centre said yesterday.

May 2009
Opinion: Protecting the next generation: Have Your Say on the Child Care and Protection Bill

29/05/2009: Approximately 60 per cent of people in Namibia are under the age of 25. Nearly 40 per cent of the population is under the age of 15. There is an urgent need for all countries, including Namibia, to ensure that they have legislation in place that provides the basis for the care and protection of children.

Human Rights Continue to be Under Threat in Namibia
28/05/2009: A long-running treason trial showed no sign of coming to a conclusion. Women and girls faced systemic discrimination and Indigenous communities continued to live in extreme poverty. Mass graves were found in the north of the country.

Economic Crisis a Human Rights Time Bomb
28/05/2009: The world is sitting on a social, political and economic time bomb fuelled by an unfolding human rights crisis, stated a leading human rights activist during the launch of Amnesty International Report 2009: State of the World’s Human Rights.

Women Claim ‘Forcibly’ Sterilised at State Hospitals
28/05/2009: Almost 20 HIV-infected women claim that doctors at State hospitals forced them to get sterilised. At a workshop in Windhoek yesterday, the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) said it was involved in 19 cases, reported since February last year, in which doctors and nurses allegedly decided to sterilise HIV-infected women.

Gam Farmers Face Civil Suit
20/05/2009: The Legal Assistance Centre is assisting the Nyae-Nyae Conservancy and its community in suing farmers from the Gam area for up to N$537 700 in damages. The farmers invaded the protected area, reserved by law for the Ju/’hoansi San people, over the Workers’ and Cassinga Day long weekend by cutting through a veterinary cordon fence.

Prisoner Sodomised by Cellmate
14/05/2009: A prisoner’s case is just one of thousands cases of sodomy and rape that are allegedly taking place inside the Namibian prisons. Although a few cases are reported, most of them go unreported.

Gov’t to Buy MIX for N$5m
14/05/2009: Government will soon sign a N$5 million agreement to buy the land where Mix squatter camp is located to officially resettle around 3 000 people there. In previous court action, the LAC had argued that evicting the people would result in serious social and economic hardship and no suitable alternative accommodation can be arranged for them at short notice.

Opinion: What ‘I Do’ Could Mean if You Are Not Namibian
08/05/2009: Recently, the National Assembly passed an amendment to the Namibian Constitution, increasing the waiting period for Namibian citizenship by both marriage and naturalisation to ten years. However, the ten-year waiting period does not distinguish between genuine, good-faith marriages and fraudulent marriages exploited for the purpose of obtaining citizenship.

April 2009
Child Law Under Revision
20/04/2009: The Child Care and Protection Bill, first drafted in 1994 and revised a number of times, is intended to replace the Children’s Act 33 of 1960, which is outdated and is not in keeping with the interest of children in the country. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare is revising the piece of legislation, with technical support from the Legal Assistance Centre.

March 2009
Opinion: What Is Your Reason?

13/03/2009: As the World celebrates International Women’s Day, data shows that approximately 35% of women and 41% of men think that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife for at least one reason.

Opinion: Land-Based Livelihoods – Are They Still Important For Rural Communities?
06/03/2009: Controlling land and utilising it are critical dimensions of rural livelihoods, and determines rural wealth or rural poverty in Southern Africa in the 21st century.

Please Don’t Dump Babies – Gov’t
02/03/2009: Concerned with the increasing rate at which young mothers are dumping babies, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare joined the LAC by making an impassioned plea to mothers not to throw away their children.

February 2009
Forced Sterilisation Victims Seek Redress

17/02/2009: Two of the 10 potential forced sterilisation cases of HIV-positive women are headed for the courts in June this year. The Legal Assistance Centre has issued seven summonses in the 10 cases.

Stage set for First Ruling in Caprivi Treason Assault Case
13/02/2009: The first trial on assaults that Caprivi high treason suspects claim to have suffered at the hands of Police officers after being arrested in Katima Mulilo in August 1999 was concluded in the High Court in Windhoek yesterday.

LAC calls for reform of school pregnancy policy
10/02/2009: The School Policy on Learner Pregnancy in Namibia discriminates against female pupils and in need of urgent reform, the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) has advised the Ministry of Education.

LAC condemns scholarship ads
05/02/2009: The Legal Assistance Centre is up in arms over scholarships that make it compulsory for prospective students to undergo an HIV test.

January 2009
Mother claims teen son a victim of prison rape horror

22/01/2009: A mentally handicapped 16-year-old boy has been a victim of sexual assaults while locked up with adult convicts in Windhoek Central Prison, the boy’s mother claims in a LAC-supported case in which she yesterday asked the High Court’s help in getting her son released from jail.