Kingdom in limbo

There were renewed calls for unity yesterday, as the Ondonga kingdom struggles to plot a way forward after the death of its respected king.

27 March 2019 | Cultural

The ongoing infighting in the Ondonga traditional community has stalled the immediate naming of a new monarch following the death of King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas.

As per tradition, a successor was to have been named immediately after the king's death in the early hours of yesterday morning. When the previous king, Filemon yaElifas lyaShindondola, died in 1975, his brother Elifas was immediately installed as his replacement.

But this has not happened this time around because of the widely publicised succession battle that has beset the beleaguered traditional community.

There was a huge police presence yesterday at the late king's residence, a testimony to the ongoing tensions among the traditional leaders.

There were, however, renewed calls for unity yesterday, with family elder Amaganga Nekuyu imploring the factions to bury the hatchet and mourn peacefully.

Nekuyu also said Elifas residence at Onamungundo could not be referred to as the Ondonga palace anymore.

“This is not a palace anymore because the king has passed on. As the king's chiefs (senior councillors) you need to be united and at peace, for the sake of mourning him peacefully.

“I know you are in two factions, but you need to become one. Ondonga is in mess, just because of you, and it is a shameful thing.

This also applies to the royal family,” he said.

Nekuyu added that given the current disunity, it was too early to tell who would be appointed as king.

“The royal family and the king's council have to sit down first and discuss the way forward.”

The senior leaders yesterday also announced the formation of a task team to be headed by one of the senior councillors dismissed by the king in July 2017, Vilho Kamanya. The team will spearhead arrangements for the mourning period. Kamanya, who is a former governor of Oshikoto, will be deputised by senior headman for Onalusheshete, Eino Shondili Amutenya.

“I am ready to do my tasks with your support. We know our king has many friends and this means that we need to have a dedicated committee.

The task team will be made up of all the 10 district senior councillors and they already know each other,” said Kamanya.


The traditional authority has been divided by a succession battle, with some preferring Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo to take over as king, while another faction, which apparently enjoys the support of the royal family, has been rooting for Oscar Sheehama.

The two are Elifas' great-grandchildren. Elifas had named Nangolo as his successor in 2002. This nomination was also confirmed to government in June 2012. Nangolo's nomination was, however, disputed by the royal family. This led to irreconcilable differences, which saw Elifas getting rid of some of his long-serving top aides, who have been backing Nangolo as heir apparent.

In July 2017, Elifas dismissed former traditional authority chairperson, the late Peter Kauluma, and former spokesperson Joseph Asino. Heavyweights such as senior headman John Walenga and Kamanya were also expelled from the traditional authority.

Three other councillors - Kashona kaMalulu, Tonata Ngulu and Fillemon Nambili - were also fired. The infighting turned nasty as the dismissed councillors turned to the courts, and an order was granted in the Oshakati High Court, compelling Elifas to give oral testimony. At the time, Elifas' legal team argued that the application to have the king testify was an attempt to test his mental capabilities in court. Several leaders, including Geingob and former president Sam Nujoma also tried to intervene in the impasse. At one point, Geingob summoned the factions to State House and pleaded with the dismissed councillors to drop the court case, so that the king would not be “paraded in court of law and embarrassed in front of his people”.


Similar News


Kingship battle escalates

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Cultural

An Ondonga faction backing Konis Eino Kalenga is likely to proceed with an application to interdict urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga and Oshana...

Game of thrones: Kalenga fights on

4 days ago - 12 June 2019 | Cultural

Konis Eino Kalenga is threatening to take urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga and Oshana governor Elia Irimari to court, claiming they were biased...

Epangelo lyapopile Nangolo

4 days ago - 12 June 2019 | Cultural

Oolugodhi olululu kombinga yaangoka ta ningi omukwaniilwa gwaNdonga olwa hulu mOmaandaha, sho epangelo lya popile Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo a ninge omukwaniilwa omuti 19, gwelelo lyaNdonga....

King Nangolo prevails

5 days ago - 11 June 2019 | Cultural

The bitter battle over the Ondonga kingship ended yesterday when the government recognised Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo as the 19th king of the traditional authority. ...

Nama on warpath over skewed land ownership

1 week ago - 04 June 2019 | Cultural

Land and genocide activist Sima Luipert has criticised government's lack of commitment to address skewed land ownership in the country. She said government's resettlement...

Uth's healing hands

1 week ago - 04 June 2019 | Cultural

Christiaan Uth is Keetmanshoop's resident medicine man, native nurse and shoemaker. Namibian Sun caught up with him at his stall and house during the second...

Nama celebrate culture, identity

1 week ago - 03 June 2019 | Cultural

JEMIMA BEUKES Hundreds of first nation descendants from across the region descended on the second annual Nama Festival that took place in Keetmanshoop this past...

Namibia ranks poorly for diversity

3 weeks ago - 24 May 2019 | Cultural

For a country that is described by many as one of the most diverse in the world, Namibia has ranked fairly poorly in a new...

Wife fined for husband's suicide

3 weeks ago - 24 May 2019 | Cultural

The justice ministry has condemned the Gciriku Traditional Authority for ordering a woman to pay 15 head of cattle or N$30 000 for the death...

Kawana mum on Ondonga impasse

1 month - 03 May 2019 | Cultural

Attorney-general Albert Kawana has remained tight-lipped on developments in Ondonga, where two members of the royal family were separately crowned as successors to the late...

Latest News

Kalahari turns deadly

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Crime

Namibia's police chief has strongly condemned the killing of an unarmed taxi driver by a soldier attached to Operation Kalahari Desert and vowed this will...

Swapo suspends dissidents

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Politics

Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa yesterday refused to comment on the sudden suspension of six influential party leaders in Otjozondjupa. Otjozondjupa governor Otto Iipinge, along with...

Horrific, but inevitable

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Columns

Incidences of assaults by military personnel on civilians have been widely reported in the mainstream media and on social media over the last couple of...

Hopeless, destitute

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Social Issues

A family of five at Kayeura village in the Musese constituency of Kavango East are living amid hopelessness in a makeshift structure made of pieces...

Kingship battle escalates

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Cultural

An Ondonga faction backing Konis Eino Kalenga is likely to proceed with an application to interdict urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga and Oshana...

We are kept in dark...

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Life Style

Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says 'The Journey' human rights campaign, which ends today, is the perfect platform for even the most timid voices to speak...

The feisty hustler out to...

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Having performed in Angola, Nigeria at the AYLIVE comedy concert, doing songs with Top Cheri and Zimbabwe's KNG BL, and being invited to represent Namibia...

NBC launches Body with Maria...

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Host Maria Nepembe describes the show as a reality TV show that focuses on fitness and health. “We are getting 10 individuals who want to...

Let's talk hip-hop

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Columns

I remember mockingly being called a ‘n*gga’ in my location for my dress code, choice of music and how I chose to carry myself.Today I...

Load More