Municipal council advised to settle with Sinvula

Niël Terblanché

The town Council of Grootfontein has been advised to settle with Kisco Sinvula as the town’s Chief Executive Officer instead of pursuing the matter further in the Supreme Court of Namibia.

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

At the time of his suspension, he was served with a notice of a pending disciplinary hearing on 30 counts of misconduct.

These allegations 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.

At the time, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni 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.

In a legal opinion obtained by the Grootfontein Town Council from the law office of Appolos Shimakeleni Lawyers, they are advised to reinstate Sinvula because appealing against a decision by a High Court Judge has very little likelihood to succeed.

“The judgement was a blow to the First Respondent’s main defence in the main application. It is just logical that when a decision in an interlocutory application bears consequences to the main application, the party on the receiving end must reconsider its position in the main application,” the legal opinion reads.The lawyers advised the Municipal Council that considering the judgement in the interlocutory application, they as the first respondent do not have any prospects of success in the main application which is set down for hearing on 19 May 2023.

“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.

They recommended that the town council settle the matter out of court because Sinvula as the applicant is likely to be successful in setting aside the suspension. That the municipal council will avoid further unnecessary legal costs and that the applicant will return to work.

“The relationship between the applicant and the first respondent, in our view, has irretrievably broken down and it is not ideal that such a relationship is pursued in the furtherance of the municipal council’s mandate,” the legal opinion reads.

The law office recommended that the matter be amicably settled out of Court to avoid further predicaments.

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