The whole idea is really to provide for public accountability that the elected and appointed officials must do the right thing in terms of the laws of Namibia, and in the interest of the people, who elected them because, Namibia is a democracy and as such, Government officials must be open and transparent at all times.
Article 18 of the Namibian Constitution provides for administrative justice. This article gives citizens and all persons who live in Namibia the right to challenge, question or demand information about how public officials made or arrived at administrative decisions. In other words, Article 18 gives citizens the powers to take government decisions on review. The question is, how? Again, the Namibian Constitution has provided the procedures available to be followed by the citizens. They can choose; either to approach the Court or go to the Ombudsman’s office. Thus the Ombudsman is the bridge, the link between the executive and the citizens.
Advocate Husselmann holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Pretoria, Post graduate diploma in compliance management, University of Johannesburg and is an admitted legal practitioner of the High Court of Namibia. As Chief, she is responsible for ensuring that the functions of the Ombudsman are carried out effectively
and efficiently and that the Office is managed on a daily basis. She further provides overall management services to the Ombudsman, conducts specialized, complex investigations, and manages staff, resources and complaint cases of the entire Office.
Advocate Harker is an admitted legal practitioner of the Namibian High and Supreme Courts and holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of the Free State. As the Children’s Advocate, some of her duties include investigating complaints about services provided to children under the laws of Namibia or the violation of children’s rights under the Namibian Constitution or any other laws, to monitor the implementation of the Child Care and Protection Act and any other law pertaining to children and to raise awareness about the Child Care and Protection Act and the importance of child protection in general. She also serves as the head of the human rights and legal services division.
Division: Management Services and Administration
This division is headed by a deputy director of administration, however this position is currently vacant. The division is responsible for providing general administrative support services and ensuring that office’s operations run smoothly. The control administrative officer who reports to the chief, leads this division until the position of deputy director is filled. Administrative officers, drivers, cleaners and the public relations officer fall within this division
Division: Human Rights and Legal Services
This division is headed by the deputy chief who also serves as the children’s advocate. Two legal officers and a social worker fall under this division. This division provides legal services to investigators, writes legal opinions, and investigates complaints pertaining to human and children’s rights violations. The division also creates awareness on human rights and represents children in court as provided for in the Child Care and Protection Act, Act 3 of 2015.
Deputy Director of investigations
Mr Shangadi holds a Bachelor of Police Science from the Namibia University of Science and Technology. As the deputy director of investigations he is responsible for the overall supervision of all investigations and investigators, providing support in complex cases, following up and consulting on cases, as well as producing investigative reports.
This division is headed by the deputy director: investigations. The division receives and investigates complaints in respect of any area that falls within the mandate of the Ombudsman.
It also conducts annual intake clinics which involves inspecting and monitoring detention facilities, solid and liquid waste facilities and any other area where there are environmental concerns. It also facilitates community outreach programmes aimed at raising awareness and public education on the role and function of the Ombudsman and human rights in general.
The investigations division is comprised of six chief complaints investigators, seven senior complaints investigators and nine complaints investigators.
The investigators receive complaints and conduct investigations into complaints against ministries, offices, regional and local councils, agencies and their officials. Complaints against groups, individuals or organisations are also investigated if they fall within the Ombudsman’s mandate.
The investigators use acceptable investigation techniques to investigate complaints, communicates with all stakeholders, make findings and provide the Ombudsman with investigation reports in which they suggest a possible remedy and recommendation to offending institutions where necessary.
The investigators resolve most cases by using informal conflict resolution techniques including mediation and negotiation.
The investigators are regarded as independent and as such trusted to investigate complaints against police and other state officials specifically on torture.
Investigators also tackle own motion complaints, these are complaints taken up on own initiative and not necessarily reported to the Ombudsman. For example, if something noteworthy appears in the media or if an investigator comes across certain information that they feel is worth looking into through a formal investigation.
In an effort to make the services of the Ombudsman accessible to all Namibians, the Ombudsman has five fully - functional regional offices. We recognize the fact that most persons who make use of our services hail from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, and as such are unable to access us through email or telephones. Having offices strategically placed in all corners of the country helps us to reach those who would otherwise not be able to do so. We have Offices in Katima Mulilo, Keetmanshoop, Ongwediva, Swakopmund, and Otjiwarongo. Complainants are encouraged to express themselves in their mother tongue as we have a diverse staff complement across our regional offices.
Public Relations Officer
Public Relations Officer
The public relations officer (PRO) is responsible for creating awareness about the Office and maintaining a good relationship between the Office and the public as well as between the Office and the media. This includes providing information through press releases and other means of communication, arranging media interviews, ensuring that information pamphlets are up to date and regularly available. The PRO is also responsible for facilitating internal communication, events and stakeholder engagement.