N$40 000 fine for spreading rumours
By Roland Routh
WINDHOEK – A woman who spread stories of adultery found out the hard and costly way that you have to be able to back up what you say. Julia Kambwela, the wife of a businessman from the north, was ordered to pay N$40 000 to another woman she accused of sleeping around with her husband.
Victoria Nuule sued Kambwela in February 2012 for repeating to various persons on various occasions over a period of about two years that Nuule was involved in an adulterous affair with her husband.
Judge Kato van Niekerk granted Nuule N$40 000 in damages for defamation with interest of 20 percent per annum from the date of judgment to date of payment and the cost of suit.
The incident stems from allegations that Kambwela stated to numerous members of the public residing in Oshakati and Uukwaludhi that Nuule was involved in an extra-marital affair with her husband, thereby causing the public to believe that Nuule is a lady of loose morals, is sexually promiscuous, breaks up other people’s marriages, is dishonest, dangerous and has no respect for the sanctity of marriage.
Kambwela stated under oath in September, 2008 that she was happily married with her husband, businessman Johannes Kambwela, for 18 years until her husband got involved with Nuule who is his employee.
She said that since then her husband had used threats and harassed and abused her emotionally to the extent that he accused her of stealing his money and even took back the vehicle he gave her and gave it to Nuule.
Kambwela further allegedly made various phone calls to the place of employment and left messages with various employees instructing Nuule to stop sleeping with her husband.
According to Nuule’s affidavit, members of the public have been pointing fingers at her whenever she appears in public as a result of the stories spread by Kambwela and this causes her to avoid public places.
She instituted claims for damages to her good name and reputation and for injury to her feelings and dignity in the amount of N$100 000.
According to Nuule, she is employed at a business called Eland General Market situated at Ondukuta, Uukwaluudhi which consists of eight branches with about 200 employees. She became manager in 2007 and that was when Kambwela started telling people that she (Nuule) was sleeping with her (Kambwe’s) husband.
She said that she suffered because of these rumours in her professional and personal life.
According to Nuule her parents also heard about these rumours and this caused her emotional pain as her parents always confronted her.
She further said that at the time she was involved in a serious relationship, which was destroyed by the talk that she was sleeping with her employer and that whenever she dates another man, the rumours would reach his ears and the relationship turn sour.