Army takes over private shooting range

09 January 2019 | Local News

Members of a Rehoboth shooting club have turned to the High Court in an urgent attempt to obtain an interdict against an allegedly illegal military take-over of the club's private shooting range last month.

An affidavit submitted to the Windhoek High Court on Monday by John Henry Eiman, the chairperson of the Rehoboth Shooters Club, asserts that members of the Namibian Defence Force abruptly and without warning took illegal possession of the shooting range, which the shooting club had operated on for the past 14 years, on 18 December, declaring it a military zone.

Since then a sign erected by the defence force forbids any persons from entering the site, including members of the Rehoboth Shooters Club.

A criminal case of unlawful trespassing and breaking and entering was also opened against the Namibian Defence Force in December.

Eiman's affidavit claims when he was notified of the trespassing on 18 December, he and club vice-chairman Dawid George van Wyk rushed to the shooting range where they “found that the [club's] padlock on the gate was removed – in fact broken – and the gate was closed with a chain and a padlock. A signpost of the applicant (Rehoboth Shooters Club) was also removed.”

In its place, a new sign had been erected, stating: “Warning!! You are entering a military zone. Taking photos, sketches, plans model or notes of military are or building is not allowed at all or is prohibited.”

The affidavit states that the shooting club had operated “undisturbed” at the premises since 2004, after an application to operate the club was approved by the town council.

The land, 5 hectares in size, was vacant when first occupied.

The club members, at their personal cost, fenced the premises, erected a sign and installed a gate that was locked with a padlock.

Ablution facilities and a water reservoir were installed.

A shipping container was brought in to store movable assets such as furniture, gun rests and targets, and a roof was erected.

Members of the club regularly use the shooting range to practice target shooting and competitive or recreational events are hosted.

No help

In his affidavit, Eiman states that after discovering the illegal occupation, they approached a lieutenant at the nearby military base to raise their concerns.

They were advised to contact the minister of defence and provided with a number for a “General Kashopola, whose telephone number was unavailable after we tried several times to telephone it.”

When they approached the town council, no help could be given, and their attempt to gain assistance from the police was equally unsuccessful.

“The police did not want to assist us, and only recommended that we warn the members of the Namibian Defence Force.”

Finally, they were advised by their legal practitioner, Norman Tjombe, to file a criminal complaint with the police.

The club then laid charges of unlawful trespassing and breaking and entering the premises, but were later informed that the matter was not yet being investigated because the police officer charged to investigate was “on leave.”

A letter was sent in early January to the permanent secretary of the defence ministry, placing on record that legal action would be taken unless the military vacated the premises by 4 January.

To date, no response has been received.

In their latest effort to be heard, an urgent application was filed at the Windhoek High Court on Monday, and unless opposed, is due to be heard on Monday.

Eiman's affidavit urges the court to hear the matter on an urgent basis, noting that “the Namibian Defence Force has unlawfully deprived the Rehoboth Shooters Club of its lawful and undisturbed possession and occupation of the premises.”

The club members hope the court will order that the premises be restored to the club.

The club members are also asking that the costs of the application be paid by the defence force.

The affidavit stresses that activities at the range are due to commence this month, with club members practising for upcoming competitions.

“With the military now in occupation of the premises, the members will not be permitted to enter and be present on the premises.”

The applicants are supported by lawyer Norman Tjombe, and the three respondents listed in the legal documents are the Minister of Defence, the Namibian Defence Force and the town council of Rehoboth.


Similar News


Tobacco critics ‘misinformed’

1 hour ago | Local News

KENYA KAMBOWE Swapo Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu says the objections to the N$1 billion tobacco and maize project that has finally been given...

Pathetic voter turnout 'unsurprising'

1 hour ago | Local News

Commentators are unsurprised by the pathetic voter turnout that was recorded during the David vs Goliath showdown between Swapo and 27-year-old independent candidate Angelina Immanuel...

Mushelenga under fire

1 hour ago | Local News

The committee established by members of the Hambukushu tribe, which wants Chief Erwin Munika Mbambo to relinquish his power, has accused urban and rural development...

Ovambanderu want halt in land sales

1 hour ago | Local News

Ovambanderu Traditional Authority chief Kilus Nguvauva has called on government to stop selling ancestral land to foreigners.Speaking during the 123rd commemoration of the battle of...

Swapo barely escapes knockout blow

1 day - 17 June 2019 | Local News

Swapo was rattled in the Ondangwa Urban by-election on Saturday by 27-year-old political novice, independent candidate Angelina Immanuel, who lost a closely fought race to...

Kaaronda champions new political direction

1 day - 17 June 2019 | Local News

Outspoken unionist Evilastus Kaaronda has finally spoken about his presidential ambitions ahead of the November general election, saying it was time for a new political...

1 201 units unoccupied

1 day - 17 June 2019 | Local News

A total of 1 201 houses constructed under government's mass housing project, which was initiated to address the housing crisis in major towns, are unoccupied...

Shack fire leaves families homeless

1 day - 17 June 2019 | Local News

Several families were left homeless when a fire at Mondesa Single Quarters in Swakopmund destroyed nine shacks on Friday afternoon.According the Detective Chief Inspector Daniel...

Omuprima a gunu iiputudhilo yepangelo

1 day - 17 June 2019 | Local News

Omuprima minista okwa popi kutya onkalo kutya omahangano ogeli oshitopolwa shepangelo, hasho tashi popile okukala omahangano ngoka giikolela owala kiiyemo okuza koshiketha shepangelo.Okwa popi kutya...

Omagumbo gopoloyeka yomass housing geli pe 1 201 kage...

1 day - 17 June 2019 | Local News

Omagumbo geli po 1 201 ngoka ga tungwa kohi yopoloyeka yomass housing konyala moondoolopa oonene moshilongo, kage na aantu molwaashoka gamwe inaga pwa, gamwe ogeli...

Latest News

Sky is the limit for...

1 hour ago | Technology

Ester Kamati Megan Werner, an experienced model and published author, recently finished building an aircraft along with 20 other youth, which they plan to fly...

The weight of expectation

1 hour ago | Columns

A huge weight of expectation will undoubtedly rest on political leaders vying for office later this year. While there is a sense that the current...

It’s not that serious!

1 hour ago | Columns

Ester KamatiThis may be a worn-out topic but the need to talk about it is quite strong. Lately romantic relationships among youth have simply become...

New name for Etakaya

1 hour ago | Education

Justicia Shipena Etakaya Primary School, situated at Etakaya village of Etakaya in the Ohangwena Region, was recently renamed Sakaria H Nghikembua Primary School.The school...

Feeling the momentum!

1 hour ago | Sports

Ester KamatiWindhoek High School’s Vegkop stadium is home to many memorable games when it comes to rugby and this year was no different. The stadium...

Improving Africa through constructive debate

1 hour ago | Education

Ester KamatiThe 2019 Day of the African Child Debate and Public Speaking Championships knockout rounds were held at the St George's ­Diocesan School on 14...

40 000 to benefit from...

1 hour ago | Environment

More than 40 000 beneficiaries are expected to benefit from a climate change project in the Kunene Region.This is 57% of the total population of...

Houses, drought relief food not...

1 hour ago | Infrastructure

People should not see houses built for them as a way for the ruling party to campaign for the upcoming election, but rather as development...

A platform for leadership

1 hour ago | Education

Michelline NawatisesThe City of Windhoek Junior Council (JC) provides a platform for leadership potential and exposes learners to local challenges.They learn about local issues and...

Load More