THE Ondonga traditional community is expectantly looking forward to the eminent reopening of the its community court whose activities were suspended by justice minister Sackey Shanghala a year ago because of the squabbling between two factions of the Ondonga Traditional Authority.
Minister Shanghala had to intervene after many of the court’s gazetted jurors and assessors — who also served as senior and junior traditional councillors — were allegedly dismissed by late King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas. They did no longer have access to the community court premises which were taken over by the opposing faction.
However, Shanghala has recently rescinded his suspension order and ordered the community court jurors and assessors to resume their work.
More than 20 jurors and assessors representing nine of the ten districts of Ondonga are now attending a week-long refresher course at a hotel in Ondangwa after which they are expected to start hearing cases, most of which were pending when the court was suspended.
The course, which started Monday and lasts till Saturday, is being conducted by officials from the justice ministry’s community courts division.
“The resumption of the community court is good news to us all. Justice cannot indefinitely be held hostage by the disagreements amongst our leaders,” said Ondangwa resident Festus Amunyela.
Kashona Malulu, one of the refresher course attendees, said their work will start immediately by issuing court summons, but the community court would only sit two weeks after that.
“The summons are issued two weeks before the hearing,” he said