Air Namibia workers object severance payment

Staff Reporter

Some former Air Namibia employees have reportedly put in an objection with the Master of High Court due to reduced severance packages.

According to a former senior cabin controller at the airline who preferred anonymity, the employees received their severance packages early last year December, however it was not the amount agreed upon.

“They reduced our severance packages without informing or even consulting us the preferred creditors. On our last day of termination, we signed a claim that we call an affidavit under oath. They went behind our backs and submitted the claims at the masters of the High court without informing us. We received our severance packages on 2 December. I don’t know how they can just change an affidavit that was signed under oath. We had to fight 22 months to get these severance packages and mind you they never even paid interest on that money. How can the masters of the High Court allow something like that two happen. We the employees have decided on a joint objection against the payment, “he said.

He added that they are now awaiting a response from the masters of the high court if they would rule in our favor so the rest of our money can be paid out.

Another employee who also preferred anonymity also expressed disappointment.

“They weren’t paid in full and there’s an objection submitted at the Master of the High Court by members that want to object.. Due date for submission was last Friday,”he said

Air Namibia was liquidated by liquidators David Bruni and Ian McLaren after government, as the sole shareholder, pulled the plug in March 2020 after it emerged that the airline accumulated about N$3.5 billion in debt and a government-guaranteed debt of N$2.58 billion.

When government announced the liquidation in 2020, it stated it could no longer sustain Air Namibia and, therefore, it would be impossible for the airline to trade out of insolvency.
The obsolete national airline’s debt comprised N$2.3 billion owed to trade creditors and N$693 million in unpaid taxes.

According to a report on 4 August 2021 by Bruni and McLaren, Air Namibia owed N$105.5 million in unpaid severance packages to former employees.

Bank loans afforded to the collapsed airline totalled over N$408 million, while its assets have been valued at N$1.1 billion.

Last year the former Air Namibia employees teamed up with Black Business Leadership Network of Namibia (BBLNN) and granted them a ‘Power of Attorney’ to act on their behalf regarding outstanding monies.

Questions sent to Bruni were not responded to at the time of going to print.

By Observer