WINDHOEK – Former African Stars Football Club (FC) coach Robert Nauseb is still entangled in a protracted and nasty labour dispute with his former club, with Nauseb accusing the club playing deliberate delay tactics in paying out in full his outstanding money.
Nauseb was telephonically fired by Stars in December last year due to a string of poor results and overall under performance by the team. Stars hired Nauseb last year August and fired him just four matches into his two-year contract, which was due to expire on 31 May 2020.
Resultantly, Nauseb was fired with 20 months still left on his employment contract and as anticipated, Nauseb expects Stars to pay out the remaining 20 months on his contract so that they can amicably part ways. But nothing has been forthcoming from the side of Stars as the former Brave Warriors and Kaizer Chiefs enterprising midfielder is yet to receive a penny of his outstanding money.
Four months ago, in April to be precise, Nauseb with the assistance of firebrand unionist and labour consultant Olsen Kahiriri of Kahiriri Consultancy CC, dragged Stars to the Office of the Labour Commissioner to seek recourse and a dispute was then launched with the Labour Commissioner.
Nauseb and his representative Kahiriri and Stars along with their legal representative Mekumbu Tjiteere of Weder, Kauta & Hoveka Inc on 9 May, came face to face before Arbitrator Ndahafa Hamukwaya, where all parties presented their Points in Limine during their first conciliation/arbitration tribunal proceedings.
Points in Limine is a process that addresses a technical legal point, which is raised prior to getting into the merits of the case and relates to matters of jurisdiction.
What Stars told the Arbitrator
According to documents seen by New Era Sport, during the May 9 commencing conciliation/arbitration tribunal proceedings, Stars legal team argued that the club did not enter into an employment contract with Nauseb and thus the office of the Labour Commissioner has no jurisdiction to preside the matter.
Secondly, and interestingly, Stars legal team further argued that the club and Nauseb already had a settlement agreement in place and that Nauseb had already received his salaries for January and February 2019. Stars legal team also said that the matter was prematurely brought before the Office of the Labour Commissioner, as internal proceedings were not exhausted, the documents further reveal.
As such, it was agreed that Stars, which is chaired by lawyer Patrick Kauta, will put together their heads of argument in writing to support their oral arguments as posited at the May 9, conciliation proceedings, and present them to Nauseb and his representative [Kahiriri] as well as to the Arbitrator by 17 May.
It was also agreed that Nauseb and his representative [Kahiriri], will respond to Stars heads of argument once received. But Stars legal team failed in their duties to deposit their heads of argument to Nauseb and his representative [Kahiriri] as well as to the Arbitrator on the agreed date of 17 May.
While the matter remained hanging at the Office of the Labour Commissioner, the parties agreed to meet around 13-14 June to try and resolve the issue amicably, but according to documents, the meeting was unsuccessful as Nauseb is said to have rejected Stars offer, which is said to have been a drop in the ocean when equated with the outstanding balance owed to him.
What Nauseb is saying
In another letter written to Stars legal representatives Weder, Kauta & Hoveka Inc and to the Office of the Labour Commissioner yesterday, which this publication has also seen, Nauseb’s representatives Kahiriri Consultancy CC argued that the club’s legal team are “deliberately delaying, abusing and frustrating the ongoing process. I can honestly state that the Respondent [Stars] is acting frivolously and in vexations manner.”
Kahiriri challenged Stars arguments in yesterday’s letter, pointing out the contradictions such as where Stars say the Labour Commissioner has no jurisdiction to preside the matter and then again contradicts itself saying the matter was prematurely brought before the Office of the Labour Commissioner, as internal proceedings were not exhausted, the documents further reveal – saying Stars can’t speak of jurisdiction of the case and then agree that it was prematurely brought before the Office of the Labour Commissioner .
Kahiriri suggested that the onus of proof of such allegations that Nauseb had already received his salaries for January and February 2019 is on Stars to prove. “This is far from the truth and this point is just raised to delay the process. If the matter was indeed prematurely brought before the Office of the Labour Commissioner then it supports the fact that there was an employee and employer relationship. Also, the respondent is best placed to state the available internal process which I may utilize,” said Kahiriri.
Contacted for comment, Tjiteere said the case is a running matter currently in front of the Labour Commissioner and is thus under strict instructions not to speak to the media about it.