Job’s red line claim ‘embarrassing’, defendants say

06 October 2021 | Justice

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

It has been proposed that a status hearing for the controversial red line removal court case be set for January 2022.

This is according to the joint case plan that was submitted to the High Court last week by the parties involved.

The case, in which Affirmative Repositioning (AR) activist Job Amupanda is demanding the removal of the veterinary cordon fence (VCF), was filed on 26 May, seeking a court order to have the fence removed and declared illegal and unconstitutional.

He listed agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein, government, attorney-general Festus Mbandeka and an official in the directorate of veterinary services, Hango Nambinga, as defendants in the matter.

However, the Meat Board of Namibia has also been added as a defendant after it asked for leave to intervene.

According to court documents, Schlettwein and Mbandeka intend to apply to strike out some allegations made by Amupanda. This will be on the grounds that “they are irrelevant and … non-compliant with Rule 45(5)”.

They added that Amupanda’s claim lacks averments necessary to sustain a cause of action and/or is “vague and embarrassing”.

Draconian policy

In his claim, Amupanda insisted that the court order the agriculture ministry to remove the fence within 90 days.

He further asked the court whether the red line was sanctioned by any laws, as he feels “such laws violate the dignity of Namibians, are discriminatory and unconstitutional”.

Amupanda described the VCF as a brutal, shameful and draconian policy seeking to sustain discrimination of people residing north of the red line.

The notice to strike and intended exceptions must be made by 12 November.

Parties therefore proposed that the matter be postponed to January for dates to be allocated.

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