High Court to make ruling on Squatters Act in February

• By Confidente Reporter

THE High Court of Namibia has proclaimed February 16, 2023 as the day it will make a ruling on determining the legality of the Squatters Proclamation Act, 21 of 1985.

This comes after the legal practitioner, Kadhila Amoomo, finalised his closing arguments on behalf of Dimbulukeni Nuyoma, who is challenging the Act which resulted in the eviction of many residents of informal settlements by the City Council under the pretext they illegally occupied the land.

In the founding affidavit, Nuyoma put it to the court that part of this law had already been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Namibia in as far as it previously permitted the eviction of persons from land without court orders.

“I, however, submit that the entire Squatters Proclamation Act is unconstitutional on the basis that it is one of those laws which was enacted for the sole purpose of denying ordinary Namibians access to land and/or housing,” Nuyoma said.

He added that the realities of Namibia’s land issue as we speak can simply not be reconciled with the Squatters Proclamation Act.

“There is no need for a Squatters Proclamation Act in its form in our constitutional dispensation. In fact, the mere connotation of the word squatters has a glaring reminder of the terms that were used to describe our people before independence.

To refer to someone as a “squatter” in an independent Namibia is to violate their right to dignity,” Nuyoma argued.

He argued that the Squatters Proclamation Act is unconstitutional because it violates article 8 of the Namibian Constitution in as far as the dignity of human beings are concerned.

Furthermore, Nuyoma said that the Squatters Proclamation Act is also unconstitutional in that it violates article 16 of the Namibian Constitution.

“The Squatters Proclamations is further unconstitutional in that it does not consider the period of time that a person may have occupied the land in question from which eviction is being sought.

In other words, if a person has been occupying the land for more than 2 years, the Squatters Proclamation Act does not make the necessary provision for the circumstances to be considered, particularly having regard to children, disabled persons, elderly and persons who are impoverished,” Nuyoma argued.