Namibian-born lawyer, Anita Grobler and her South African spouse Susan Jacobs are suing the government in an attempt to have their marriage recognised in Namibia and for Jacobs to obtain residence rights in Namibia.
High Court judge president Petrus Damaseb announced that three judges should be selected to hear Jacobs and Grobler’s case along with other same-sex marriages cases that were pending.
To fight for their marriage to be recognised, Jacobs and Grobler were suing the government, Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Namibia’s immigration authorities, the attorney general and the ombudsman.
While the government, the home affairs minister and the immigration authorities were opposing Grobler and Jacobs’s court application, the two argued that their marriage should be recognised by the Namibian law.
According to the couple, they have been partners in a relationship since 1993 and were married in South Africa, in terms of that country’s Civil Union Act, in October 2009.
When Jacobs first came to Namibia, she came on a visitor’s entry permit but when she applied to have the permit extended her application was turned down, in September last year.
“[W]e strongly feel we deserve the extension, based on the fact I am legally married to a Namibian citizen,” said Jacobs in an affidavit.
“I am domiciled in Namibia. Anita is a Namibian citizen. Furthermore, I am aggrieved by the bias, unreasonable and unfair conduct meted out against us by home affairs, which infringes not only my but also my family’s dignity.”
Currently, almost 30 countries recognise same-sex marriages and it has been recognised under South African law since 2006.