Never ignore a court

By Victor Angula |

There are many things and people who can better be ignored. Even institutions can sometimes be ignored for your own convenience or peace of mind.

But the one institution that must never be ignored is the court.

I am saying this in light of a certain gentleman by the name of Sean Naude who owns a company with the name of Marshall Rangers cc; and a court has issued an order saying something to the effect that his company must be sold off at a public auction if he doesn’t pay N$100,000 to someone who was suing him.

The problems of Mr Naude resulted from the fact that a default judgement was passed in favour of someone against him because he failed to turn up in court.

Media reports failed to state why he failed to turn up in court to defend himself against someone who was suing him.

Many people can still remember the story of former South African president Jacob Zuma who was sent to prison because he failed to turn up at a court hearing where he was asked to come and testify.

There are many people who had to face similar problems in Namibia and other places just because they failed to turn up at the court and so a default judgement or contempt of court judgement was delivered against them.

Some failed to come to court because of ignorance, while others (like Mr Zuma) it was a result of bad advice by lawyers.

If for whatever reason you are called (subpoenaed) to come and testify in court, you must turn up. If you can afford a lawyer, you must send a lawyer to go on your behalf.

Because if you don’t turn up and you don’t send a lawyer the court will pass a judgement of contempt of court (like in the case of Jacob Zuma).

Contempt of court is to say that you have no respect for the court, or you don’t recognise the authority of the court. Therefore the court is punishing you or disciplining you.

On this earth where we live everyone must respect the authority of the court. Everyone, even the president or prime minister or chief of the defence force or police force, everyone must come to court if the court said you must come.

And if you’re sued by someone, you must hire a lawyer to go and speak on your behalf. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you must go yourself and speak whatever you can speak.

Even if you have no case to defend because you are at fault in the case, you still have to go to court and say you’re at fault.

Just ignoring the court is not good.

A default judgement is a judgement passed against someone in a civil case just because he failed to come to court to defend him or herself, and so whatever the person who is suing you is asking it will be granted them.