EDITORIAL: Our justice system is on trial

30 November 2021 | Opinion

While revered British barrister Lord Denning was certainly correct in observing that the law is not an art of mathematical precision, Namibians have seen enough abuse of this principle by questionable characters dressed in magisterial robes.

The courts are, at least on paper, part and parcel of a system that must fight with all its might against everything that is wrong in our country – especially where law, order and just behaviour are casualties.

Courts must help to uphold accountability. Every man - criminals in this case - must carry their proverbial cross. Justice forms an integral part of a healthy democratic system where even the weak, when wronged, can confront the strong in a system that levels the playing field for all.

The controversial court rulings of Oshakati magistrate Leopoldt Hangalo, as published in this newspaper today, contradict the principle of all people being equal before the law. When courts side with perpetrators of crime instead of the victims, we are headed in a very dangerous direction.

While we firmly believe that our courts must be free from interference, intimidation or even moral and political sentiments, we also believe that we can’t allow our justice system to be trampled upon by rogue characters who milk the concept of ‘independent judiciary’ for nefarious ends.

It cannot be taken by default that Hango’s jaw-dropping court decisions, where victims are left more vulnerable than the perpetrators, are purely by coincidence.

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