Hengari trapped in four-year defamation case

• By Tracy Tafirenyika

FORMER Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Managing Director Zelna Hengari says her ongoing four-year legal battle has deprived her of economic means as she continues to pay legal bills.

Hengari is suing NWR (first respondent), Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta (second respondent), and former Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste (third respondent) for N$7.5 million in reputational damages.

High Court Judge Boas Usiku stated last year that he would pronounce judgement in the matter on July 29 of the same year, following the conclusion of oral arguments, but the case has since been postponed again to August 15 this year for closing submissions.

Last week, frustrations rose in court as the parties sought an extension of time to file their written contributions and to vacate the date of oral submissions, causing the matter to be rescheduled until August.

“It is hereby ordered that the matter be rescheduled for a civil part-heard hearing on August 15, 2023 (reasons: hearing of closing submissions). The plaintiff must file her written submissions by August 1. The defendant shall file its written submission on or before August 8,” reads a court order.

Hengari’s claim stems from a press statement released by the NWR board on April 15, 2018, and disseminated by local news outlets.

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