15 Sep 2005

American Samoan woman chief takes court action over dismissal

1:27 pm on 15 September 2005

An American Samoa government official says Fanene Fetaiaiga Kava is breaking with tradition by taking legal action over her sacking as the county chief of Mauputasi District.

The former attorney general, Fiti Sunia, is representing Mrs Kava a hearing tomorrow to determine whether the High Court has jurisdiction in the case.

A spokesman for the Governor, Vince Iuli, says the high ranking male chief of Mauputasi who is recommending Mrs Kava's sacking, is also the Secretary for the Office of Samoan Affairs.

He says it is uncommon to take a decision by local chiefs to court.

"She fighting, yes. She is a very bright woman, and plays a big role in the ascension of women in the predominantly male matai system. She believes she has got a story to tell and she's got a good case and so she's leaving it up to the courts to decide."

Vince Iuli.