Namibia: De Wilde v. Minister of Home Affairs

Published: 23/Jun/2016
Source: Namibia Supreme Court

De Wilde v. Minister of Home Affairs, Supreme Court of Namibia, Case No: SA 48/2014

The Supreme Court ordered that the appellant be declared a Namibian citizen based on birth in Namibia of parents who were ordinarily resident there.

Art 4(1)(d) of the Namibian Constitution provides that persons born in Namibia after the date of Independence acquire citizenship if their fathers or mothers are “ordinarily resident” in Namibia at the time of the birth. There are some exceptions to this rule–applying to children of parents who are diplomatic representatives, or seconded by another government, or who are illegal immigrants–that do not apply if the child would otherwise be stateless.

The court decided that:

“In determining whether or not a person is ordinarily resident as contemplated by Art 4(1)(d), each case must be considered on its facts…. Key considerations will include whether the person concerned normally lives in Namibia, and is therefore not merely visiting Namibia, and whether the person has no immediate intention of permanent departure. Moreover, proof of ordinary residence will require more than a person’s mere say-so. The intention to make Namibia one’s habitual home must be established by facts which are capable of objective proof. Evidence will thus need to be led to show that the person is indeed normally resident in Namibia. Such evidence will include the person’s place of residence, the period of residence in Namibia, as well as his or her livelihood, and other relevant factors.”

Download court judgment here.

Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Acquisition by children
Regions: Namibia
Year: 2016