December 3, 2002

Traditional Laws Go Indigenous

In an effort to help traditional leaders understand the laws that govern their operations, Government has translated the Traditional Authorities Act, Council of Traditional Authorities Act and the Constitution into seven local languages. The laws are now available in Oshiwambo, Damara-Nama, Silozi, Setswana, Rukwangali, Otjiherero and Afrikaans.

The translated documents were launched by Regional, Local Government and Housing Deputy Minister Gerhard Totemeyer at the 5th annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders (CTL) in Windhoek on December 2. Local Government Minister Joel Kaapanda said the seven languages were chosen as they were the most widely spoken in Namibia and were also used by the National Broadcasting Corporation. "This is the Ministry's first experience in translating legal documents and therefore a very interesting learning experience," said Kaapanda. He said after going through the documents, traditional leaders would be asked for their comments on the translated laws. Kaapanda said it was also his Ministry's intention to translate the Decentralisation Enabling Act and eventually the Community Court Act into local languages. The Minister further told traditional leaders that a suitable site for the headquarters of the Council of Traditional Leaders in Windhoek had been identified, while two vehicles for use by the CTL Chairman and his deputy had been acquired. The Chairman is Chief Eliphas Kauluma and the deputy, Munyuku Nguvauva. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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