Ombudsman takes Cabinet to court

12 February 2021 | Justice

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

The Ombudsman and Khorixas Youth Forum have dragged government to court over a Cabinet decision that Children of the Liberation Struggle (CLS) must be employed in the public service without being put through a recruitment process.

In a notice of motion filed in December, the Ombudsman, Advocate Johan Walters, asked the High Court to declare that Cabinet had acted beyond its powers and that its decision is unconstitutional.

Walters also demanded that the Public Service Commission, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa Amadhila and secretary to Cabinet George Simataa be restrained and interdicted from continuing to implement the decision.

In his affidavit, Reginald Roman, the former chairperson of the Khorixas Youth Forum, said he was personally aggrieved by the Cabinet decision which earmarked entry-level positions for CLS.

According to him, the environment ministry had 12 watchmen vacancies, of which five were reserved for CLS and were not advertised nor opened up for other previously disadvantaged Namibians to apply.

“The effect of that decision is that previously disadvantaged Namibians such as myself and the youth in Khorixas were discriminated against and denied an opportunity to compete equally for employment in the public sector,” he said.

Important matter

The Ombudsman’s legal representative, Saima Nambinga of Palyeenime Incorporated, yesterday said government has not opposed the matter.

However, because of its magnitude, High Court Judge Thomas Masuku said although the matter is unopposed, it is an important matter that should be argued.

“We must now go and argue the case and prepare heads of arguments to argue our case,” Nambinga said.

Simataa yesterday declined to comment on their position.

“We have respect and faith in our judicial system. Therefore, we don’t comment on issues that are already in court as a matter of principle,” he said.

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