conflicting high court judgments

One case, two high court judgments: Namibian supreme court concern about ‘grave irregularity’

The supreme court in Namibia was busy preparing a written judgment in a rape case appeal when it discovered something was very wrong. Unknown to it at the time the case was argued, there had actually been two high court decisions on the same matter. The first of the two had refused leave to appeal as part of an unsuccessful application for condonation of late filing, with the court holding there were no prospects of success on appeal. Three months later, the same applicant had brought another application, for appeal.

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There’s a double whammy involved in this story. First, Namibia’s supreme court found serious irregularities by the high court and lawyers involved in a well-publicised rape case. Second, Namibia’s ruling Swapo party has appointed the man at the centre of the legal dispute, Vincent Likoro, a former advisor to the minister of land and resettlement, as a member of the party’s high-level think tank – even though he has been convicted of rape and sentenced to 10 years in jail.

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