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Absalom Iimbondi in action for Tigers. File photo

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      Betty and husband push ahead with defamation lawsuit

      by Eliaser Ndeyanale

      NEWLY married couple, Beata 'Betty' and Shapwa Kanyama are suing social media user Mathilde Kadhikwa in the High Court for failing to apologise for her alleged defamatory statements about the couple's lavish wedding in May.

      The couple's lawyer, Sisa Namandje, wrote to Kadhikwa last month, requesting her to issue an unconditional apology to the couple within 24 hours of receiving the request.

      According to their particulars of claim, Kadhikwa made an audio recording in Oshiwambo in which she allegedly said the couple's glamourous wedding was financed with public funds.

      The wedding, which cost about N$10 million, took place on 27 May this year at Oniipa in the Oshikoto region, and was attended by celebrities and prominent people.

      The couple was transported in luxurious vehicles, such as Mercedes Benz G63s, Audis and Range Rovers.

      “The event was graced with the most elegant features,” the couple stated.

      According to the Kanyamas, Kadhikwa on 30 May made an audio recording which contained defamatory statements concerning Shapwa.

      They claim the recording was shared on various Whats­App groups and social media platforms.

      The couple said the recording was made with the intention to defame them.

      Kadhikwa allegedly said Shapwa is involved in procuring pharmaceuticals for the government, and that he owns a house in Windhoek with a home cinema, wine cellar and gym.

      Pictures of the house allegedly trended on social media in April 2020.

      The couple said the defamatory statements imply that Shapwa used public funds to bankroll his wedding, and that he stole government funds.

      They said Kadhikwa's statements and suggestions are defamatory, wrongful and infringe on, or alternatively is injurious to Shapwa's name, dignity, fame, credit or reputation.

      They claimed the defamation was aggravated because Kadhikwa made the statements immediately after the wedding while it was still receiving a lot of publicity.

      Beata was allegedly defamed as the statements made against her husband had a direct and injurious effect on her status and dignity, the particulars of claim state.

      The couple said they have suffered damages in the amount of N$200 000 each.

      They also want the court to compel Kadhikwa to apologise to them within five days of the court order for the harm and reputational damage caused by her defamatory statements.

      Kadhikwa yesterday said she did not receive the papers from the lawyer and therefore could not comment.

      Last year, Beata sued Independent Patriots for Change spokesperson Immanuel 'Imms' Nashinge for allegedly referring to her as “a kid that is known for sleeping around with older men”, adding: “We cannot be using state institutions to promote prostitutes.”

      The remarks were made in connection with an online talk in which Beata participated with Nangula Uaandja, the chief executive officer of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board, on 3 March 2021.

      Beata was represented by Namandje.

      Nashinge last year signed an agreement to settle the lawsuit, in which he agreed to apologise to Davids and pay her N$60 000.

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