Feather in the cap for Namibia's Judiciary

14 August 2019 | Ministries

The selection of the Office of the Judiciary's executive director, Rolanda van Wyk, as vice-president of the executive board of the International Association for Court Administration (IACA) marks another milestone in her distinguished career and underscores Namibia's drive for judicial reform on home soil and across its borders.

Moreover, Van Wyk is the first Namibian and first woman to hold this position in IACA.

“Van Wyk's prestigious appointment comes at a time when judicial administration on the continent is in dire need of reform, such that will ensure a system of efficient and effective administration of justice, not only in Namibia, but in SADC and sub-Saharan Africa as a whole,” Ockert Jansen of the Office of the Judiciary said of her accomplishment.

Chief Justice Peter Shivute congratulated Van Wyk, adding that her achievement underscored the goal of Namibia's judiciary to become a “model judiciary” in Africa.

“The appointment of Mrs Van Wyk to this international body is evident of the remarkable work she has done for our judicial administration and the confidence within the region and the international community in her abilities as a leader. We rally behind her success and wish her the best,” Shivute said.

The mandate of IACA is to promote professional court administration and management in emerging democracies and to serve as a resource for judges, court administrators and other government officials as a measure to evaluate and improve court and justice systems.

Van Wyk is not a newcomer to judicial administration. Since 1999 she had served as a prosecutor and then moved up the ranks to deputy prosecutor-general from 2006 to 2015.

In June 2015 she took up the position of deputy permanent secretary in the justice ministry, a position she held until her promotion to permanent secretary entrusted to head the newly established and independent Office of the Judiciary in January 2016.

In 2017 Van Wyk was instrumental in the establishment of the Southern African Judicial Administrators Association (SAJAA).

She is an admitted legal practitioner of the High Court of Namibia and has represented the State in major cases in the lower, high and supreme courts.

She holds a B Proc degree from the University of the Orange Free State in South Africa, and has 20 years of professional experience.

“I am extremely humbled by this appointment and I look forward to sharing Namibia's successes while learning from other judiciaries in order to effect better administration within the region, but also on the continent as a whole,” Van Wyk said shortly after the announcement of her appointment.

In her new role Van Wyk is tasked with promoting membership and networking within African judiciaries, as well as recruiting and appointing board members.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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