Court orders the reinstatement of Sinvula

Niël Terblanché

High Court Judge, Boas Usiku on Friday ordered for the reinstatement of Kisco Sinvula, who was removed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Grootfontein Town Council last year.

Sinvula was removed from his post as the Grootfontein municipality’s CEO in March last year and subsequently approached the High Court to review and set aside the council’s decision to suspend him.

At the time, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni also ruled that the suspension of Sinvula was not done in accordance with proper procedures, and directed the council to follow regulations in suspending the CEO.

Sinvula was served with a notice, of a pending disciplinary hearing pertaining to 30 counts of misconduct at the time of his suspension.

These charges ranged from insubordination, abuse of power, violations of the Local Authorities Act, violations of the Procurement Act, corruption, forgery, misleading and misrepresentation of facts, negligent trading, utterance and violations of the labour law, racketeering and the misuse of public funds.

The Grootfontein Town Council was advised by Appolos Shimakeleni Lawyers to reinstate Sinvula because appealing against a decision by the High Court has very little likelihood to succeed.

“In the same vein, our instructed Advocates have indicated their unwillingness to argue the matter on 19 May 2023 on account that there are no prospects of success when regard is had to the judgment in the interlocutory application,” the lawyers’ office informed the town council.

The lawyers also recommended that the Town Council ouncil settle the matter out of court because Sinvula as the applicant is likely to be successful in setting aside the suspension and that the municipal council would be avoiding further unnecessary legal costs.

Another recommendation from the legal representative was for the Town Council to obtain the services of Government Attorneys to further assist them with the case.

About a week after providing the Grootfontein Town Council with the legal opinion, Appolos Shimakeleni Lawyers in a notice to the Registrar of the High Court of Namibia officially resigned as the legal representatives of the Grootfontein Town Council.

Before delivering his ruling on Friday, Judge Usiku noted the non-appearance of legal representatives for the Grootfontein Town Council, adding that the court was informed of the reasons.

“The court shall invoke the provisions of rule 68(b) of the rules of court, and grant relief in favour of the applicant insofar as the circumstances justify,” Judge Usiku found.

The judge also took cognizance of the fact that Sinvula, as the applicant in the matter, did forgo some of the relief that he sought in the notice of motion that was provided to the court at an earlier date.

In his ruling, Judge Usiku set aside the Town Council’s decision to suspend Sinvula from his position as the Chief Executive Officer and ordered that the local authority carry his legal costs.

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