Menzies petitions the Supreme Court

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Menzies petitions the Supreme Court

Menzies Aviation’s never-say-die attitude is alive and well. 

On Friday, shortly after the High Court dismissed Menzies’ application to retain control of some areas of the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA), the company forged ahead to petition the Supreme Court.

In her ruling, High Court Judge Hannelie Prinsloo said the eviction of Menzies from HKIA on the morning of 19 August by the Deputy Sheriff was in line with the Supreme Court’s order of 9 June.

The eviction was also in line with the High Court order of 29 June, which stipulated that the aviation company must cease providing ground handling services, and vacate, hand over equipment and access cards giving it access to the airport, Prinsloo said. 

The judge stated that Menzies has no right to continue to occupy any part of HKIA, and the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) was entitled to enforce the eviction orders of both the Supreme Court and High Court. 

But in its appeal to the Supreme Court, Menzies is claiming that Prinsloo erred in her ruling on Friday.

The company claims the High Court’s ruling of 29 June was no longer enforceable, as it entered into a new agreement with NAC on 30 June 2022, as was stated by NAC in a notice to all stakeholders that Menzies will continue to provide ground handling services at HKIA until further notice.

According to Menzies, Prinsloo failed to note that NAC, joint venture partners Paragon and JV Ethiopian Airlines, the Deputy Sherrif, the Namibian Civil Aviation Authority, and the Namibian Police took the law into their own hands when they forcefully occupied HKIA, and evicted them. 

This is Menzies’ third petition to the Supreme Court since it lost the ground handling tender to the joint venture in December 2021. 

It currently has an undetermined suit before the Supreme Court, where it is appealing judge Judge Shafimane Ueitele’s 30-day notice to vacate HKIA, citing it was not the court’s place to order so. 

It further argues that the determination of a notice period falls under the jurisdiction of the NAC, and should not have been made by the court.

The company likewise has a review application before the High Court, where it wants the court to declare that NAC is a category one public entity and in terms of the law, may not handle a bidding process of a tender which exceeds N$25 million. 

Menzies added that the tender handled by NAC and awarded to the joint venture exceeds the threshold, suggesting the Central Procurement Board of Namibia should have instead handled the bidding process.

The company also wants the court to review and set aside NAC’s decision to declare its bid invalid because it failed to initial all its pages and certify its registration documents. Menzies furthermore wants the court to set aside NAC’s decision to award the joint venture the tender, and disqualify it.

Apart from the decisions to be reviewed, Menzies wants section 4(2) of the Public Procurement Act, 15 of 2015, declared unconstitutional.