Retired judge awaits lawsuit ruling

30 January 2018 | Justice

The ruling in a civil matter in which a retired judge is suing the government for over N$6 million following a drawn-out child abduction and sexual molestation case is not yet ready.

Former Judge Pio Teek is suing the government, minister of justice and ombudsman for the violation of his right to a fair trial, defamation and a breach of constitutional duty.

Teek had argued that due to the minister and ombudsman's malicious and undue lengthy delays, and unlawful failure to speedily serve the combined summons against the South African appeal judges Piet Streicher, Kenneth Mthiyane and Fritz Brand - appointed as Acting Judges of Appeal of Namibia's Supreme Court, grossly violated his constitutional right. He is seeking N$6.7 million in damages. In 2005 Teek was arrested on charges of child abduction and sexual molestation. At the time he was accused of abducting two underage girls, giving them alcohol, fondling them and showing them pornographic material. The following year he was found not guilty by the High Court. The State then appealed the judgement in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court upheld the appeal and reversed Judge Ronnie Bosielo's ruling which had found Teek not guilty. A full bench of Supreme Court judges, on which South African appeal judges served, found there was enough evidence for a re-trial.

Teek then instituted a civil claim for damages against the government, minister of justice and ombudsman.

The attorney-general in September 2010, in response to the request of the Registrar of High Court to facilitate the service of summons on the said judges, said it could not be processed due to non-compliance with Rule 5 of the High of Court rules and in the absence of legislative framework. Judge Elton Hoff on 18 June 2010 removed Teek's appeal from the roll pursuant to Rule 5. Teek had emphasised that the defendants' unlawful conduct was the material and direct cause of his decision to withdraw and abandon his civil action against the South African judges.

He said the legal consequence of their actions were that he was denied the due process of law, natural justice and due care, as well as fair, reasonable, adequate and speedy remedial actions pursuant to statutory and common law.

He also claimed he was denied economic advancement and happiness in violation of his rights and that this resulted in severe mental anguish. Coupled with the resultant financial loss, he justified the amount he cited.

The ruling in the civil matter was postponed to 2 March.

FRED GOEIEMAN

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