Namibia Appoints Johanna Salionga As Chief Magistrate

By Werner Menges

NAMIBIA’S current chief magistrate, Johanna Salionga, has been appointed as a judge of the High Court with effect from the start of November.

Salionga’s appointment, together with the designation of three acting judges, was announced by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which recommends the appointment of judges to the president, on Friday.

When she takes up a position on the High Court bench, Salionga will bring the number of female judges in that court to five. Together with the judge president, who also serves on the Supreme Court as deputy chief justice, the High Court currently has a complement of 16 permanent judges.

Salionga was first appointed as a magistrate in 1992, and later served as acting chief magistrate for more than three years, before taking up a post as deputy master of the High Court for nine years. She became chief magistrate – a post in which she is the administrative head of the country’s magistrate courts – in September 2015.

 Johanna Salionga

In other judicial appointments announced on Friday, former Botswana chief justice Maruping Dibotelo and a former judge of South Africa’s Constitutional Court, Bess Nkabinde, are due to serve as acting appeal judges of Namibia’s Supreme Court from the start of October this year to the end of October next year.

 Dibotelo was the chief justice of Botswana from 2010 to April this year, when he retired from that post, while Nkabinde was a judge in South Africa’s top court from the start of 2006 to the end of 2017.

According to the JSC, Dibotelo and Nkabinde were appointed for a year so that they could be called upon to serve in the Supreme Court when needed during that time.

Windhoek Regional Court magistrate Ileni Velikoshi has also been appointed as an acting judge of the High Court for the period from the start of November to 15 December, the JSC stated.

Velikoshi has eight years of experience as a magistrate. He has been stationed at the Windhoek Regional Court for the past two years.


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