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Puma, Nabta land tussle continues

2022-01-12  Maria Amakali

Puma, Nabta land tussle continues
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The tussle over a piece of land between Puma Energy Namibia Two and the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) on which they have been operating on for years is far from over as the later claims his rights to the land have never been challenged. 

 

This stance is held by Joseph Rukoro who was employed as the National Retail manager for Puma Energy Namibia from November 2011 to July 2018 and subsequently became franchisee and owner of Puma Hedanava Service Station claims that Puma Energy Namibia started operating as Caltex Oil Namibia which later changed its name to Puma Energy Namibia Two.

In court documents, Rukoro claims Puma Energy Namibia Two holds the title deeds to the Erf 7305, where Puma service is located in Rhino Park, Windhoek. 

He claims the land was bought from Southern Realty International. 

Puma Energy Namibia started operating as Caltex Oil Namibia, which later
changed its name to Puma Energy Namibia Two. 

Although he admitted that on 3 February 1993 the parties entered into a “joint venture” in respect of the said piece of land, the terms of the said agreement were “nothing more than an unenforceable agreement”. 

He claims the agreement stipulates that the parties have the right to further negotiate with outside parties to acquire land. 

However, the documents filed before court indicate no negotiations would be carried outside of the joint venture agreement. 

Thus, the parties agreed for Christoph van Niekerk from Southern Estates to act as a facilitator and spokesperson.

According to the agreement, the parties would pursue negotiations with the Windhoek Municipality to acquire land to set up offices and a service station for Nabta – to be executed by Caltex.

Rukoro claims on 9 March 1995, Caltex entered into a franchise agreement with Nabta. 

The franchise agreement was for the period of 1 November 1994 to 31 October 1997.

“No lease agreement currently exists between the plaintiff and the defendant,” said Rukoro.

Puma is seeking an order from the High Court to evict Nabta and local businesswoman Ruusa Andunge from the premises on which they all operate. 

They are further demanding payment in the amounts of N$45 550 and N$5 000, respectively, for damages per month for unlawful occupation for the three years preceding the date of service of
summons.

Nabta is, however, claiming that Puma, with the help of Van Niekerk, obtained the land dubiously. 

Thomas Mulunga, who was Nabta’s president in 1989 and was part of the land deal, said the portion of land on which Nabta’s head office is currently operating was never meant to be owned by a single
entity.

The land is currently owned by Caltex, who bought it from Southern Realty International (Pty) Ltd, a company owned by Van Niekerk. 

According to his recollection, the City of Windhoek would allocate land in a form of a joint venture between Nabta and Caltex as well as Van Niekerk as the facilitator and spokesperson.

“The deal was that Caltex would establish a service station for Nabta, and Nabta would be benefitting in an amount of N$0.02/ litre – an amount they allegedly never received. Caltex would build two service stations and a secretariat of Nabta in a form of an office, a conference hall and a kitchen,” said Mulunga. 

In his affidavit, Mulunga claims that instead of Van Niekerk registering the land into the joint venture, he instead registered it under Southern Realty International (Pty) Ltd. 

This, he said, was done behind their backs, as they only became aware of the details last year in September – and as such, Nabta continued to operate from the premises, said Mulunga.

The hearing is scheduled for 24 May and 1-3 June. 

-mamakali@nepc.com.na


2022-01-12  Maria Amakali

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