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Governor Ueitele, Gobabis lawyer nearly trade blows

25 June 2013 Author  

front Ueitele 25 juneGOBABIS – A verbal spat between Gobabis-based lawyer, Bennie Venter and the Governor of the Omaheke Region Festus Ueitele played itself out in the Gobabis Magistrate’s Court shortly before court proceedings got underway.

The verbal altercation nearly ended in physical confrontation had the Police not intervened.

The confrontation, which occurred in full view of police officers, came after State prosecutor Johan Pienaar requested members of the public who had gathered in the gallery, to vacate the courtroom as he wanted to study the footage of the CCTV recordings of the Buffalo’s Bar racist attack before court resumes.

After the public had left the court, Venter took offence at the presence of the regional governor in court despite the public having been requested to leave.

The State prosecutor explained that he did not have a problem with the governor being present in court during the viewing of the footage, but Venter was not satisfied with the answer.

“He must go out. He is also a member of the public just like any other person. Let him go out,” he stated.

Venter further asserted that “I am not part of your political team. This is a court room, not a political arena”.

The regional governor, who was also accompanied by his special advisor, Pio Nganate, did not take kindly to Venter’s response as he deemed it disrespectful and not said in the right tone.

“You are very disrespectful. How can you address another person that way. That is not the right way to talk to another person,” the governor interjected.

He was, however, told to “shut up” by Venter, who said he has “had enough of politicians”.

“This is the court room, not your political arena. We have been listening to politicians these whole weeks and we are tired. Just shut up,” Venter said.

Police had to step in to prevent a volatile situation after Ueitele attempted to move closer to Venter.

At that stage, the defence attorney also moved closer to where Ueitele was standing, where he urged the governor to “hit me, go ahead, hit me!”

That matter was, however, brought to an end by the police.