Three Spar supermarkets in northern Namibia approached the Oshakati High Court on an urgent basis to interdict two members of the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU) from entering their premises.
Oshana Ongwe Investment, trading as Central Savemore, and Okangwena Savemore, Malvern Investments, trading as Oshakati Spar, and Downs Investment, trading as Ongwediva Spar, are asking High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo to prohibit Festus Iindongo and Primus Josef from continuing to enter its premises and causing disruptions and damage to property at the said premises.
Josef indicated through his lawyer, Inonge Mainga, that he will oppose the application. According to the founding affidavit of Johan van der Merwe on behalf of the applicants, it all started in August 2021 when Iindongo and Josef, without notice or permission, began to conduct meetings at their premises during working hours and thereby causing disruption in the stores. He said Iindongo and Josef conducted themselves in a very “rude and obnoxious” manner towards the staff and management of these stores. Van der Merwe stated that he wrote a letter to NAFAU, requesting that notice be given before meetings are held as well as for a change in the attitude and behaviour of the two members.
“Despite the request, the first respondent’s members have persisted in their disruptive behaviour, thereby causing the applicants financial losses while damaging the applicants’ good name.
Furthermore, the applicants and the first respondent have not signed a recognition agreement, and the first respondent is therefore not a recognised exclusive bargaining agent of the applicants’ employees in terms of section 64 of the Labour Act 11 of 2007, rendering the first respondent’s members’ conduct unlawful”, he added.
Van der Merwe said despite the lack of recognition as exclusive bargaining agent of the applicants’ employees, the union’s members, more specifically Iindongo and Josef, persist with disrupting the businesses in Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshakati, which necessitated him to approach the High Court on an urgent basis.
He continued that in an attempt to resolve this matter amicably, he wrote to the union, but did not receive a response to date. In the meantime, Iindongo and Josef continue with their disruptive conduct to the detriment of his business. He is now asking for an order returnable on 31 January, calling on the respondents to show cause why Iindongo and Josef should not be interdicted and prohibited from entering the premises.
Judge Ndauendapo yesterday made an order that the respondents should
file their answering papers on or before 26 November, the applicants their replying papers on or before 29 November, and the parties their heads of argument on or before 30 November. The urgent application will be heard on 1 December at the Oshakati High Court.
The applicants are represented by Marcia Amupolo.