Reckless Statements Inflame The Situation

Reckless Statements Inflame The Situation

I AM disappointed to read of the Namibia National Farmers Union’s (NNFU) July 1 statement regarding the case of Mathias Uiseb and Johan Kok. The case involves allegations of a sensational assault upon Mr Uiseb, which, according to the report by The Namibian’s Werner Menges, are much to be doubted.

The Namibian Nation — and its communal farmers — will be best served by the regular procedures of the law in the Otavi Magistrate’s Court. They are not well served by reckless statements by the NNFU before all the facts are known.The truly reprehensible aspect of this case is that the NNFU, by making inflammatory statements that ignored the legal proceedings underway, acted in a way that will breed disrespect for the courts of Namibia.Why bother with the traditions of the law that have evolved over centuries to promote the search for truth, when one can simply run to the microphone and say whatever comes to one’s mind and threaten some vague extrajudicial punishment? All Namibians have an enormous stake in a justice system that strives to determine the truth in each case.In this, the Otavi Magistrates Court and the lawyers for Mr Kok have performed well.Already the expert medical testimony in the case casts significant doubt on Mr Uiseb’s veracity, if it doesn’t completely demolish it.He also has a strong motive to lie if Mr. Kok’s suspicion that Mr. Uiseb has been stealing Mr. Kok’s cattle is well founded.Every violation of the law is damaging to the good order and expectations of society.It remains to be seen whether Mr. Kok indeed assaulted Mr. Uiseb.Even if Mr. Kok is guilty of simple assault or Mr Uiseb is guilty of cattle theft, these are both minor crimes that should merit no more than a mention in the newspaper, not the hysterical threats of the NNFU.The punishment that will be meted out in Otavi, if any, will serve all Namibians.Statements about white commercial farmers provoking all the Namibian Nation and ambiguous but ominous threats of retaliation will not.If anyone speaks for all of the nation it surely is the government as it acts through its legally constituted courts.Richard A. Ong Missouri USAThey are not well served by reckless statements by the NNFU before all the facts are known.The truly reprehensible aspect of this case is that the NNFU, by making inflammatory statements that ignored the legal proceedings underway, acted in a way that will breed disrespect for the courts of Namibia.Why bother with the traditions of the law that have evolved over centuries to promote the search for truth, when one can simply run to the microphone and say whatever comes to one’s mind and threaten some vague extrajudicial punishment? All Namibians have an enormous stake in a justice system that strives to determine the truth in each case.In this, the Otavi Magistrates Court and the lawyers for Mr Kok have performed well.Already the expert medical testimony in the case casts significant doubt on Mr Uiseb’s veracity, if it doesn’t completely demolish it.He also has a strong motive to lie if Mr. Kok’s suspicion that Mr. Uiseb has been stealing Mr. Kok’s cattle is well founded.Every violation of the law is damaging to the good order and expectations of society.It remains to be seen whether Mr. Kok indeed assaulted Mr. Uiseb.Even if Mr. Kok is guilty of simple assault or Mr Uiseb is guilty of cattle theft, these are both minor crimes that should merit no more than a mention in the newspaper, not the hysterical threats of the NNFU.The punishment that will be meted out in Otavi, if any, will serve all Namibians.Statements about white commercial farmers provoking all the Namibian Nation and ambiguous but ominous threats of retaliation will not.If anyone speaks for all of the nation it surely is the government as it acts through its legally constituted courts.Richard A. Ong Missouri USA

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