CHIEF Justice Peter Shivute clarified that the Judiciary has no policy barring members of the media from attending and covering the court proceedings at any given time.
Shivute made the remarks during the Windhoek Judiciary delegation courtesy visit to the Oshana regional governor, Elia Irimari, at Oshakati on Wednesday.
He was responding to a concern by journalists that the Magistrate’s Court at Outapi in the Omusati Region denies them access to the court gallery for news coverage.
“You are most welcome to cover court proceedings to disseminate information to the public,” replied Shivute.
He added that restrictions, which are now lifted to a certain extent, were only put in place at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Shivute at the same time promised to address the issue during his delegation’s visit to Outapi this Friday.
In the same vein, Minister of Justice Yvonne Dausab, who accompanied Shivute, reiterated that access to justice is key to the rule of law.
Dausab, during the delegation’s engagement with stakeholders this morning at the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court to exchange views and confront the challenges facing the judiciary system, suggested that availability and affordability of justice should be ensured for members of society.
She explained that access to justice is actually the main anchor of the rule of law and if it collapses, it’s an indication that a country had no stable rule of law.
Discussions were also centred around cases being postponed largely due to a lack of magistrates, especially at the Oshakati Regional Court Division.