Namibia Water Corporation Limited (NamWater) has won a bid in the Windhoek High Court against a former employee Jejemaije Mujoro, whom it paid N$177,272.30 after the termination of her fixed term employment contract.
High Court Judge, Esi Schimming-Chase, however, delivered the judgment in favour of NamWater and ordered that Mujoro to return the entire disbursement to the company.
According to court documents, NamWater and Mujoro around the 17th and 18th May 2021 entered into a fixed term temporary employment contract from 1 June 2021 until 30 September 2021 and Mujoro was paid a gross salary amounting to N$40,894.50 per month as remuneration.
On 1st September 2021, the employment agreement ended.
For the period of October 2021 until February 2022, with the corporation unaware, payments were made to Mujoro totalling N$177,272.30 subsequent to the termination of the fixed term contract.
‘’The said payment was made by the company to Mujoro was in error of law in the bona fide and
reasonable belief that the said payment was due, which is reasonable and excusable in the circumstances. The defendant has been unjustly enriched at plaintiff’s expense by the said overpayment of N$177,272.30, for which amount the defendant is in the premises liable to the plaintiff,’’ NamWater had claimed.
Consequently, NamWater had sought for an order against the defendant in the payment in the amount of N$177,272.30, interest on the aforesaid amount and cost of suit.
Mujoro had argued that the NamWater created a legitimate expectation that the employment contract entered between them was extended indefinitely, since the company continued to pay her for the period of October 2021 to February 2022.
She said that NamWater did not provide a notice of termination of employment contract, according to the agreed employment contract under clause 3(3.1), which the parties concluded. ‘’The respondent was entitled to the funds that was paid to her as salary, due to the fact that the respondent was an employee of the Applicant, created by the legitimate expectation that the employment contract was extended indefinitely, which constitutes a bona fide defence towards the Applicants claim,’’ court documents read.