The night before the desperately ill woman died, she signed a will, leaving everything to her two children. She believed she had dealt with all the formalities, but a month later the master of the high court rejected the will because it had been signed only on the last page and initialed on other pages. No-one disputed the authenticity of the will; no-one suggested there had been fraud. No-one disputed the evidence of the witnesses to her signature, who explained that because of Linea Nuugwedha’s waning strength she had only had enough energy to sign the last page and initial a few other pages. Despite all this, the problem remained: she had not complied precisely with the law on the number and placings of her signature. Nuugwedha’s two children contested the master’s decision, and the dispute was heard in the high court of Namibia by judge Shafimana Ueitele. It is not every day that a high court judge overrules decades of legal precedent, but Ueitele grabbed the difficult issue pre...

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