Judge leaves door open for Kalenga

12 July 2019 | Energy

High Court Judge Thomas Masuku has left the door open for Konisa Eino Kalenga to bring a review application to challenge the designation and coronation of Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo as the new Ondonga king.

This was revealed in Masuku's full judgment in which he gave detailed reasons why he struck an urgent application by Kalenga and others off the roll a day before Nangolo was coronated as the new monarch. The merits of the matter were not argued. It was dismissed on the grounds of lack of urgency.

Nangolo was coronated on 29 June, following his designation by urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga.

Both Nangolo and Kalenga had applied to Mushelenga for their designation as the new king.

“I therefore find that in the peculiar circumstance to this matter, the applicants, particularly Kalenga, who appears to bear the brunt more, can obtain substantial redress at a hearing in due course by way of review proceedings,” Masuku said in his judgment.

Nangolo was appointed by the late Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Kauluma Elifas as his successor in 2012, while Kalenga was appointed by a faction of the royal family in May, following Elifas' death in April.

“The first applicant (Kalenga) by way of his founding affidavit, indicates that he became aware of the decision by the Mushelenga to approve the designation of Nangolo by way of social media,” Judge Masuku said in the reasons for his ruling earlier this week.

“He stated that despite his pending application for approval, he was not directly notified.”

As a result of Mushelenga's letter dated 10 June Nangolo's coronation was planned to take place on 29 June, Masuku said.

It was the planned coronation that triggered Kalenga's urgent application.

Masuku also indicated that the application failed to meet the requirement to fulfil rule 73(1) which states that an urgent matter must be heard at 09:00 on a working day.

If such a matter cannot be heard at 09:00, it must be stated in the certificate of urgency why this could not happen. Kalenga requested his matter to be heard at 14:30.

“The certificate of urgency, dated 18 June, filed on behalf of the applicants by Sandra Miller, does not state the reason why the urgent application cannot be heard at 09:00, as required by the said sub-rule.

It must be mentioned that many practitioners in this court appear to pay no regard whatsoever.

The applicant's legal practitioner should, in the certificate of urgency, certify the matter is so urgent that it should be heard on some other time or day,” Masuku said.

He also indicated that the respondents indicated that in 2012 applicants (Kalenga and his backers) become aware of the nomination and appointment of Nangolo by the late king as his successor, but the nomination was not opposed.

“This undisputed allegation of fact pours cold water on the averments relied upon by Kalenga in the quest to meet the mandatory requirements of rule 73(4)(b).

These uncontested facts demonstrate that various customary steps related to Nangolo's claim to the throne have come to the attention of the wider Ondonga traditional community,” Masuku added.

Kalenga approached the court to stop Nangolo's coronation claiming it violates his right to be recognised as a nominated candidate for the Ondonga throne, and that it will affect the dignity he enjoys within the community as the nominated candidate for the throne.

He did not respond yesterday to an SMS enquiry about whether he would continue his battle or not.

ILENI NANDJATO