It is unfair for members of the judiciary to be subjected to unjustified ridicule or insults because of the decisions they make during the execution of their duties, says President Hage Geingob.
The Head of State made these remarks during the ceremonial opening of the 2020 legal year at the Supreme Court in the capital Windhoek on Wednesday.
His comments comes after growing public criticism, mostly on social media against a recent ruling of the Supreme Court in an election challenge case.
The Court rejected a request to nullify last November’s Presidential election but ruled that the use of electronic voting machines without a variable audit paper printout in that election, was unconstitutional.
“I fear that reckless and gratuitous allegations aimed at impugning the integrity of the Judiciary may lead to a situation where members of the public could lose faith in the Judiciary and start resorting to taking the law into their own hands, something that has proved in other countries to be the mother of all chaos and anarchy,” explained Geingob.
“We are entering the year 2020 on the back of a very challenging 2019. Last year was characterized by economic headwinds and an unprecedented drought that wreaked havoc on the lives of many Namibians and their livestock.
“Our resilience in the face of this adversity is testament to our robust governance architecture, which is characterized by sound processes, systems and institutions,” he added.
Geingob noted that as people who toiled under the harshness of colonial oppression and prevailed against the tyranny of apartheid, Namibians is view justice as a sacrosanct and a core tenet of our governance architecture.
He added that the judiciary and members of the legal profession play an integral role as sentinels of Namibia’s Constitutional democracy.
“In this regard, the legal community is reviewing its enabling legislation. It is expected that during that process there will be an opportunity for constructive public dialogue.”
Geingob stressed: “Because of the unfortunate high level of poverty in our country, I encourage all legal practitioners to fully embrace the pro bono culture as a means of improving the accessibility of law and justice to vulnerable sections of our society.”