23 November 2012

Namibia: Ndeutepo Loses Round Against MUN Leaders

IT is unclear whether suspended Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) president John Ndeutepo will attend the Swapo congress next week, after the High Court upheld his suspension from the union late yesterday afternoon.

Evilastus Kaaronda, the dismissed secretary general of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), this week lost his chance to attend the congress after an urgent High Court application to be reinstated failed.

Upon enquiry, Nangolo Mbumba, the deputy secretary general of Swapo, said it was the MUN's prerogative to decide on whether or not to withdraw Ndeutepo from the list of attendees. "We don't prescribe to them. It is up to the union to say."

Acting Judge Petrus Unengu yesterday granted an application by the MUN to bar Ndeutepo from the union's offices in Katutura and to stop him from interfering with the activities of the MUN, its employees, agents and office bearers. He was also stopped from acting or purporting to act on behalf of the union.

As a result of the ruling against him, Ndeutepo will have to return a Toyota Corolla belonging to the union.

He and general secretary Jonas Lumbu also had their suspension by the national executive committee (NEC) enforced.

Ndeutepo was represented by Boris Isaacks, while Werner Boesak acted on behalf of MUN on instructions of Clement Daniels.

During the urgent application yesterday, Boesak argued that Ndeutepo had no authority to suspend NEC members earlier. "That power was not vested in him. The president did not appoint the NEC members, they were appointed."

Ndeutepo had suspended nine NEC members and then reinstated five later over alleged "clandestine activities".

After Ndeutepo's suspension by the NEC, he allegedly "raged on like a bull", Boesak argued. He allegedly also withdrew union funds after his suspension.

Boesak argued that the union was in limbo as a result of the fight between Ndeutepo and the rest of the union's NEC members. "This person, this individual, seems to have taken over the union as his own."

Ndeutepo also came under fire for allegedly tampering with the union's constitution.

Isaacks unsuccessfully argued that the union's vice president, Mike Heita, had no authority to bring the urgent application. Acting Judge Unengu dismissed this with costs.

The matter was postponed to January 18 next year.

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