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Menzies seeks a return to Supreme Court

2023-11-02  Maria Amakali

Menzies seeks a return to Supreme Court

As the legal battle over the multi-million-dollar Hosea Kutako International Airport ground handling tender continues, Menzies Aviation has once more filed an application in the High Court.

Menzies is asking the High Court leave to petition the Supreme Court over a recent judgement delivered by judge Shafimana Ueitele on 3 October.

In this judgement, Ueitele dismissed Menzies’ application with costs, where it wanted to execute the court’s ruling of 8 August, despite it and its competitor Paragon having lodged appeals against that ruling. 

However, the court ordered the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) to allow Menzies to have access to its cargo at HKIA.

In the 8 August ruling, the court said NAC’s eviction notice to Menzies was unreasonable. The court suggested that a 30-day eviction notice would be reasonable.

In the latest application, Menzies is claiming that Ueitele erred in his 3 October ruling when he concluded that it and Paragon have both filed appeals against the 8 August ruling.

According to Menzies, the judge ignored the facts presented, stating that Paragon’s presence at HKIA caused irreparable harm – not only to it but to the public and Namibia.

Uietele further erred when he granted limited permission to Menzies to return to the warehouse, which they submitted.

“He allowed himself to be persuaded and indeed erroneously took this fact into consideration – by the NAC’s claim that it will earn less from Menzies than from Paragon,” reads Menzies’ notice of motion.

Furthermore, Ueitele accepted that Paragon’s cross-appeal was arguable.

Thus, the aviation company wants to be allowed to ask the Supreme Court to set aside the orders of 3 October.

NAC and joint venture partners Paragon and Ethiopian Airlines have noted the intention to oppose the application. 

Yesterday, the court set down the matter for hearing before Ueitele to be held on 4 December.

 Menzies has been embroiled in a legal battle with NAC after it lost out on a ground handling tender to a joint venture between Paragon Investment and JV Ethiopia in December 2021.

It now has a pending 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. 

According to Menzies, the tender handled by NAC and awarded to the joint venture exceeds the threshold, suggesting the Central Procurement Board of Namibia should have 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. 

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

This matter will be heard on 1 December.

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2023-11-02  Maria Amakali

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