Menzies makes a mockery of Namibian law

Niël Terblanché

Despite the fact that the Namibian High Court and Supreme Court dismissed a total of five applications by Menzies Aviation to continue providing ground handling services at the Hosea Kutako International Airport, the British-owned company appears determined to defy all court orders and extend their illegal occupation of the airport premises.

By defying all court orders to vacate the premises of the Namibia Airports Company and acting as if it is above all the laws of Namibia. Menzies has caused millions of dollars in damages to Paragon Investment Holdings.

Sisa Namandje, Paragon’s legal representative, during a media briefing in Windhoek, stated that the situation where an entity allocate to itself the right to ignore court orders in Namibia can longer be tolerated.

“An independent Namibia was established as a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State founded on the rule of law. A private entity is not above the law and such behaviour can no longer be tolerated and must be addressed urgently,” Namandje said.

According to Namandje, Menzies yet again demonstrated its total disregard for Namibia laws when it defied defy yet another explicit court order after the High Court Judge dismissed its applications on 8 August 2023. On the same day the company issued a statement to all its clients on the same day in which it states that it will continue to provide ground handling services at the HKIA.

“Menzies will continue to provide ground handling services at the HKIA unless you are otherwise informed by Menzies, and not any other third party,” the British-owned company’s statement to its clients stated.

With regard to the Menzies statement, Namandje stated that Paragon will not hesitate to protect its rights in whatever way it could.

“This is a country run by the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature. A private entity cannot pretend to run the country. This audacity and arrogance must die,” Namandje said.

In the meantime, Menzies faces the possibility of a lawsuit where Paragon will institute a claim of millions of dollars for losses incurred over the past year.

The actions of the British-owned company will have far-reaching consequences for NAC relating to the Public Procurement Act of Namibia when the contract for ground handling services rolls around in less than four years’ time.

Paragon’s Executive Director of Media and Marketing, Lazarus Jacobs during the media briefing, reiterated that losses of millions of dollars have been incurred due to delay tactics implemented by Menzies over the past year.

Besides the financial losses, Menzies also infringed upon the duration of the five-year contract already signed between Paragon and its joint venture partner to provide ground handling services at the international airport.

With regard to the financial losses and time lost on fulfilling its contractual responsibilities, Jacobs said that Paragon’s right to claim damages in future is reserved and its legal representatives will guide the company in this respect.

On Tuesday the High Court granted Menzies another 30 days after the presiding Judge found that the British-owned company may continue with the provision of ground handling services until NAC issues them with a 30-day notice if it wants to terminate the agreement between the two parties. Menzies stated that the immediate eviction order issued by the Supreme Court in June did not afford the company enough time to properly hand over responsibilities to Paragon and its joint venture partner. The judge found that a four-day notice period is unreasonable but added that the company will not have any reason or right still to occupy parts NAC’s premises if a reasonable notice period for the cancellation of the contract is eventually issued.

Related Posts