“We Want Our Land Back…..’’ A Socio-legal Analysis of the Etosha Ancestral Land Claim

Odendaal, Willem; Hebinck, Paul


This chapter explores the Etosha ancestral land claim by the Hai||om San. It exposes the limitations of litigation. Not only socio-political difference among the claimants hampers the litigation process. The chapter elaborates that the legal and political space in which the case unfolds, did not create a level playing field for the claiming Haiǁom to seek to exercise their rights. The legal arena In Namibia is constituted by multiple legal norms and values. Statutory law operates next to customary laws and rights. The Etosha ruling, however, makes clear that legal positivism as manifested in statutory law and common law remains the predominant legal and political interpretative framework in Namibia. Other acceptable legal remedies that are available to indigenous peoples under both Namibian constitutional law and international law are ignored.