Oukwanyama Traditional Authority CHAIRMAN Andrew Naikaku said the police should help traditional leaders arrest those who do not show up when summoned to the community court.
Naikaku said that when a senior chief asks the police to help arrest the accused, he is told to write to a regional police commissioner.
Naikaku said this during a visit by Oshana Police Commissioner Naftal Sakaria, along with Queen of Oukwanyama Martha Mwadinomho Kristian Nelumbu, to the traditional authority of Oukwanyama last week.
Naikaku told police that the traditional authority faces the problem of illegal sand mining, with businessmen stealing sand from ancient sandpits at night and depositing it in oshanas to take it in the morning.
“The sand has become a diamond. Our people extract sand from old pits without permission. We have opened a case with the police against those who get sand from Oshikondailongo village in Omusati area, but people still get sand from it,” Naikaku said.
He suggested that trucks should not be allowed to transport sand after 5 p.m.
Queen Nelumbu said the police should assign officers to the community court and the palace when there are meetings, to restore order.
Speaking at the same event, Oukwanyama Traditional Authority Ohaingu District Chief Urias Ndilula said cases of gender-based violence against women and children, cattle rustling, drug abuse and illegal sand mining are among those prevalent in traditional authorities. .
He said there were also cases of people stealing matches and canned beef.
All of these cases can be brought before community court judges.
“Sometimes when we summon people to the community court they don’t come, while some who are fined to pay cattle or money only pay when they die,” he said. .
Ndilula suggested that in cases where a defendant has been summoned to court but does not show up, the police should apprehend that defendant.
The Director of Community Courts at the Ministry of Justice, Amalia Nathaniel, told The Namibian last year that community courts are authorized to try criminal offenses resulting from the violation of customary laws and customs.
In most cases, these offenses are limited to theft, common assault, child neglect, and inheritance issues.
These courts also have jurisdiction over matters such as customary unions, and offenses such as adultery or non-payment of lobola, among others.