KEETMANSHOOP: Chief Joel Stephanus of the Oorlam community in Vaalgras village will know his fate come Saturday, when the election for a new chief for the group takes place.
Members of the group who oppose Stephanus are seeking to replace him after the chief in 2009 decided to appoint traditional councillors. Some community members were however not happy with the choice of councillors.
Stephanus declined to comment on the election on Thursday, and would not speculate about the concerned group’s chances of succeeding in their plans to oust him.
He also would not say whether he plans to take any legal action against the group if they succeed to have him removed as chief, and would only say he does not want to comment on the matter at the moment.
“I will wait and see what they do,” he stated.
Nominated candidates for the chieftaincy include Reverend Andreas Biwa and Lukas Apollus, who confirmed on Thursday that the election will take place at Vaalgras on Saturday (08 September).
Imgardt Eises is the third candidate. She was nominated in August this year as a possible replacement for Stephanus.
An attempt by the chief to stop the group from proceeding with the election failed in May this year when he applied to the Windhoek High Court for a court order to, amongst other things, stop the group from meddling in the leadership affairs of the Vaalgras community.
The court ruled that there is no evidence that Stephanus is being deprived of his chieftainship. The Traditional Authorities Act provides for the removal of a chief or head of a traditional community where sufficient reason such as maladministration exists.
This, however, should be done in a peaceful way.
Vaalgras is situated about 60 kilometres north-east of Keetmanshoop, in the Karas Region.