Law experts help local communities with sticky legal issues
Expert legal advice free of charge came to the Katutura community last week Friday when the Law Society of Namibia and the Office of the Ombudsman hosted another of their Free Legal Advice days, this time in Windhoek.
The Law Society said this week, 107 Katutura resident used the opportunity for councelling on legal matters ranging from labour disputes and domestic violence cases to divorce and maintenance issues. Some residents also enquired procedures regarding the drafting and execution of wills and estates.
The Windhoek Free Legal Advice Day is supported by lawyers working in the Office of the Ombudsman and by members of the Law Society, all of them admitted legal practitioners. This special community service is offered throughout the year in various localities across Namibia. It is part of the Law Society’s objective to make legal services more accessible to the public, especially those people who can not afford to pay a lawyer.
“The Office of the Ombudsman has been instrumental in the success of the Free Legal Advice days since the project was launched in August 2014. The Ombudsman supports the Law Society by advertising the event when it is held in the regions and by providing a venue. It also makes available some of its legal staff to help with the councelling.
The first Free Legal Advice day this year was held in Mariental in June. This was followed by Ongwediva in July. Last week’s was the third. It was hosted in the hall of the UN Plaza in Katutura. Staff members from the Office of the Master of the High Court also assisted with this event.
The day was opened by a Councillor of the Law Society, Mrs Doris Hans-Kaumbi. Solidarity with the law fraternity was shown by the presence of the Ombudsman, Adv John Walters, a City of Windhoek Councillor, Ananias Niizimba, Elsie Beukes from the Master of the High Court and Rachel Jacobs, the Chair of the Khomas Regional Council’s Management Committee.
The next Free Legal Advice day will be held in Swakopmund on 18 August, followed by Tsumeb on 22 September and Gobabis on 13 October.
Pictured are the members of the Law Society and the staff of the Ombudsman. Standing, from the left, are Bertha Simunji (Senior Investigator – Office of the Ombudsman), Erastus Arnold (Investigator – Office of the Ombudsman), Nawala Kamati, Ian Petherbridge, Martha Angula-Ruider (Candidate Legal Practitioners), Uundjii Kaihiva, Cobus Visser, Shaun Ellis, Zureuka Majiedt, Laura-Lee Beets, Hendrik Mauyoma (legal practitioner and Chief Legal: Office of the Ombudsman), Faustinia Nashama, Rauna Ndilula, Jamie Theron and Timothy Shangadi (Deputy Director Investigations: Office of the Ombudsman).
Seated, from the left, are Sumari Rush, Chastin Bassingthwaighte, Karin Klazen, Retha Steinmann (Director: Law Society of Namibia), Jo-mari Koekemoer (Manager Professional Affairs: Law Society of Namibia) and Mignon Klein.