Mad rush for legal advice
What was intended to be a quiet consultative day nearly turned into a stampede when almost 150 members of the public last week turned up at the Office of the Ombudsman in Ongwediva where a day of free legal advice was offered. The Free Legal Advice days are organised by the Law Society of Namibia, in collaboration with the Office of the Ombudsman. The first such day, held in Keetmanshoop as a pilot a month ago, was a reasonable success but nothing prepared the lawyers from the North for the overwhelming need for their services from the residents of Ongwediva, Oshakati and Ondangua. Legal advice at the Ongwediva legal advice clinic was provided by practising members of the Law Society, and facilitated by officials of the Ombudsman, and by the Law Society secretariat. It proved to be a landmark occasion for veteran lawyer, Jan Greyling, when he and his three sons, all three of them lawyers, assisted in providing legal advice to members of the public. The Free Legal Advice Days form part of the Law Society’s objectives for 2014 to make legal services more accessible to those members of the public who cannot afford legal services.
The Free Legal Advice Days co-incide with the various Circle meetings between the Council of the Law Society and its members. Future Free Legal Advice Days will be held on 16 January 2015 in Windhoek after the High Court Legal Year Opening, on 20 February 2015 in Tsumeb, on 17 April 2015 in Swakopmund, and on 12 June 2015 in Gobabis.