Court orders SPYL to return the membership system

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

The Windhoek High Court has issued an order to the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) directing them to return all hardware, software, and accessories associated with its integrated membership system.

The integrated electronic system belongs to True Media Trading.

The court ruling comes after SPYL failed to pay N$14 million, a breach of contract terms with True Media Trading.

High Court Judge, George Coleman recently ruled that the initial agreement between True Media Trading and SPYL was void due to vagueness.

“The agreement is depicted as a ‘joint venture agreement’ and reads more like a memorandum of understanding than a commercial contract. The problem is that this aspect of the agreement was not addressed at all by the parties. In my view, the agreement is void for vagueness specifically because clause two determines a purchase price without any indication of when it should be paid, who should pay and exactly for what. For example, it stipulates N$7 750 000 as the project value while it appears from the project plan and the evidence that this amount was intended for the membership cards,” said Coleman.

The court ordered SPYL to return the integrated membership system to True Media Trading within three months of the ruling.

According to the particulars of claims True Media Trading entered into an agreement with SPYL in 2018 to supply and install the integrated membership system across various Swapo offices.

According to the terms, True Media Trading was to supply more than one million electronic membership cards to Swapo’s three wings: 300 000 cards for SPYL, 150 000 for the pioneers’ movement, 400 000 for the women’s council and 200 000 for the elders’ council.

However, the contract was subsequently amended, and its value increased to around N$14 million in 2018. The agreement specified that True Media Trading would not only supply the electronic membership cards but also deliver the necessary hardware and accessories, including the laptops required for the system’s operation.

In November 2018, True Media Trading successfully launched the integrated membership system. However, they claimed in court documents that the SPYL has refused to pay it N$14 million for the work done.

Moreover, True Media Trading accused SPYL of deviating from the project plan by engaging other suppliers for membership cards and printing equipment.

Former SPYL Secretary for Information, Neville Andre, faced accusations of signing off on the deal without adhering to proper procedures.

While True Media Trading has stated that they fulfilled their obligations under the contract and met the youth league’s expectations, SPYL disputed these claims.

They argued that the contract was a joint venture agreement, and they only received a portion of the membership cards due to hardware and software malfunctions.

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