The battle to head the Namibia University of Science and Technology appears to be far from over after the High Court on Friday ordered the institution to produce all documents relating to the appointment of vice chancellor Erold Naomab.
On 13 November 2020, the NUST council announced Naomab as the new vice chancellor, effective January. Naomab signed his employment offer on 13 November last year. On 22 February, Frednard Gideon, through his lawyer Sisa Namandje, brought an application, seeking an order that would compel NUST to produce documents in relation to the appointment of Naomab.
On Friday, Judge Kobus Miller ordered the university to avail the psychometric assessments of Gideon and Naomab – documents to be seen only by Gideon, Naomab and the court.
“The reports, so it is said, address an assessment of the strength, development needs and leadership capabilities of the applicant and respondent inter alia. These are said to be sensitive and confidential information concerning the applicant and fifth respondent,” noted Miller.
Scorecards of the panellist must be produced in a redacted form, which does not reveal the identity of the panellist who awarded the score.
Furthermore, the institution should disclose Naomab’s full employment contract and all correspondences with him in relation to his employment.
According to Miller, the documents are needed to help the court adjudicate the review application in which Gideon is seeking an order that will set aside any employment agreement and remuneration entered into by NUST and Naomab to be declared invalid.
In the review application, Gideon, who lost out to Naomab, is claiming that he was overlooked for the position despite being found to be the overall best performer during the recruitment process and recommended for the position by the joint selection committee. The shortlisted candidates went through a rigorous selection process, which comprised psychometric assessments, public presentations and an interview focused on key performance areas.
According to court documents, Gideon scored 68% in two quantitative assessments, while Naomab scored 64%. However, their scores are below the 70% mark set for the top candidate. In respect of the interview, Naomab got a score of 64, whilst Gideon scored 67.
For public presentation, Gideon obtained a score of 73.44, while Naomab scored 74.48.