Hendrik Ismael Witbooi becomes ninth Gaob of the |Khowese

Hendrik Ismael Witbooi was on Saturday installed as the ninth Gaob of the |Khopese (Witbooi) clan on Saturday in Gibeon with various dignitaries and community of the |Khopese in attendance.

Ismael succeeded the late Gaob Hendrik Witbooi, former deputy prime minister of Namibia and traditional leader of the Witbooi community who was the leader of the |Khopese since 1978 until his death in 2009.

The coronation was threatened by an application lodged by cousin of Ismael and also former Namibian high commissioner to Zambia, Salomon Josephat Witbooi, who is a member of the Witbooi royal house, Anna Jacobs, who is his mother, fellow royal house members, Elizabeth Kock and Christina Fredricks, and the spokesperson of the Witbooi royal family, Reverend PeniasTopnaar for an interdict to prevent the ceremony from going ahead.

An application to have his designation as traditional leader approved was made to the minister of urban and rural development PeyaMushelanga, but on 22 May this year Mushelenga decided to approve another application in a letter seen by this agency, which was to have Ismael Witbooi officially recognised as chief.

However, the bid to stop the coronation of Ismael failed when judge Thomas Masuku ordered that an application for an interdict to prevent the ceremony from going ahead should be struck off the court roll, since it did not pass the test to be heard as an urgent case.

The festivities started with a horse procession leading the entourage of chief designate Ismael, Vice President of the Republic of Namibia, NangoloMbumba, Minister of Education Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa and different ministers, deputy ministers, High Commissioners, Governors, Regional and Local Authority Councilors.

Wife of Late Gaob Hendrik Witbooi, Johanna Sofia Witbooi handed over the original hat and staff engraved with previous leaders of the clan worn and carried by the late Reverend Witbooi to the new Gaob of the clan.

The ceremony was closed by the new installed chief doing a rendition of the 'Praise song written by the lateHendrick Witbooi.

Source: Namibia Press Agency