Namibia

African lawyers protest as colleagues targeted by police, judiciary

International lawyers’ organisations have reacted with shock to news that colleagues in four African countries have been targeted by the judiciary, the police or other state officials, in a way that has stopped them carrying out their work -  all without a proper opportunity to be heard.

At least four African countries have become the focus of serious concern by the legal profession because of the way the judiciary, the police or other officials in those countries have been involved in harassment of senior practitioners, without allowing for the proper processes of the law.

Namibia's anti-graft body targets counsel from South Africa

Namibia’s Anti-Corruption Commission, already sharply censured by the high court for going beyond powers allowed it by law (see 'When the Shepherd becomes a Wolf' on this website), is now coming in for even wider criticism. This time it’s for serving a summons on counsel for the accused – in court and during a hearing related to the ‘Fishrot’ scandal that has stunned Namibia.

Counsel at the centre of Namibia’s growing Fishrot row, South African advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, is no stranger to the elite of that country’s ruling Swapo party, and has appeared for them on several occasions. This time, however, he was not given the usual benign treatment accorded legal representatives.

When the shepherd becomes a wolf

Top-ranking Namibians implicated in international corruption related to the country’s lucrative fishing industry, have failed to have the search and seizure warrants issued against them set aside. Among the targets of the warrants applied for by the anti-corruption commission were the former minister of fisheries and marine resources and the former minister of justice. But the judge hearing the matter was highly critical of aspects of the commission’s behaviour.

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