Verdict on Menzies Aviation application postponed to next month

Martin Endjala

The High Court has postponed the matter involving an urgent application by Menzies Aviation Namibia to stay on for another 30 days following the Supreme Court’s judgement issued last week Friday ordering the British company to vacate the Hosea Kutako International Airport premises with immediate effect.

Presiding Judge, Shifimana Ueitele yesterday said that he will reserve his judgment and postponed the matter to the 4th of July 2023 stating that given that it is an urgent application, it creates uncertainty and one needs to dispose of it urgently.

The judge said he still wants to hear arguments on both sides before making a ruling.

Menzies Aviation filed an urgent appeal on Monday, summoning Namibia Airports Company and Paragon Investment to appear in court, giving the parties only 30 minutes to file their answering affidavit, a move which the NAC Legal Representative, Unanisa Hengari and Paragon Investment Legal representative, Sisa Namandje firmly described as unfair and it is of short notice and would require more time to file their affidavit.

The Namibia Airports Company and Paragon Investment will file their answering Affidavit on 1 July 2023 and Menzies Aviation will file its replying affidavit on 28 June 2023.

Raymond Heathcote the Legal Representative of Menzies Aviation again pleaded his urgent appeal to the Judge to cancel the execution order for it to evacuate with immediate effect, fear of the now postponed hearing on the matter to more than two weeks.

Heathcote argued that if they are to evacuate as per the court order, to cease all its airport side ground handling will be disastrous, hence, its urgent appeal to request a 30-day stay.

As a result, Judge Ueitele ordered that he will delay and suspend the execution order until he hears arguments from both parties next month before he makes a ruling on the matter.

The initial saga began last year after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of NAC and Paragon Investment Joint Venture granting them the right to provide ground handling services at the airport. The Supreme Court ruled last year on the 29th of June 2022, that Menzies Aviation’s operation contract be terminated and it should vacate the premises on the 30th of June 2022 immediately, however, this did not happen and therefore it continued operating and making money.

This then prompted the NAC and Paragon Investment to issue a notice to Menzies Aviation last week Friday, which ordered them to vacate the premises this week Tuesday at 09h00.

Namandje in his submission yesterday, again reiterated that the orders sought by Menzies Aviation are incompetent and that the High Court has no jurisdiction to hear the matter as it was finalised last week Friday in the Supreme Court.

On Monday Namandje argued that it is not fair for his clients, to allow a company that has been ordered since last year to pack its bags and go and yet has not done that and continued making profits, thus he demands that it should vacate the premises so that his client can assume its operations.

Menzies Aviation alleged last year that Paragon Investment cannot render such services this, however, did not sit well with Namandje, as he responded by saying, “Menzies is like a sangoma who goes around visiting people’s homes to see what is happening behind closed doors”.

He has since argued that Menzies Aviation should not make such unfounded allegations, given the fact that they failed to prove it in court last year.

Namandja is adamant that the Supreme Court order is final, and needs no interdiction or what so ever and that the British Owned Company must respect the law and vacate.

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