Union in messy fight

19 December 2013 Author  

front war 20 decTHE fate of suspended acting Secretary General (SG) of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) Alfred Angula could take a new twist following a High Court application by the Namibia Farm Workers Union (Nafwu). The application made by the incumbent president of Nafwu, Ronelle De Jongh, questions the legitimacy of the leadership that spearheaded the allegations of financial impropriety against Angula when he was secretary general of Nafwu.

The allegations led to demise of Angula as acting secretary general of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW).

On 13 November 2013, Nafwu represented by Koep & Partners filed the court application with the intention of restraining the first to third respondents from attending or entering NUNW premises.

De Jongh represents Nafwu in person as the applicant, whilst the first to seventh respondent are Rocco Nguvauva, Moses Kativa, Gwyneth Phillips, Frans Ngoma, Christa Kavara, Frans Kamati, and Elaine Pieters respectively.

The court application lists the station commander of the Katutura Police Station and the Inspector General of the Namibian Police as the eighth and ninth respondents.

De Jongh submitted the founding affidavit that launched the application on behalf of the applicant Nafwu on 13 November 2013.

Her affidavit states that the union dismissed the first respondent Nguvauva, who is the former acting SG of Nafwu, around 31 May 2013, along with Kativa the former general secretary and Phillips the former office administrator.

It only expelled the fourth respondent Ngoma on 9 August 2013, who served as union’s former treasurer as well as a member of the national executive.

Kavara, who is the former vice treasurer, Kamati the former national secretary , and Pieters the former national deputy secretary were all members of the national executive before the union expelled them on 9 August 2013.

According to a resolution passed by the central committee meeting of Nafwu held on 9 August 2013, it resolved that the union should institute proceedings in the High Court against respondents 1 to 7, according to De Jongh’s affidavit.

The supporting documents in the affidavit accuse the respondents of fraud and trespassing, while on suspension, and after Nafwu instructed them that it would not permit them to enter the union’s premises or access documents or letterheads.

On 1 August this year, the seven respondents all received letters from Koep and Partners informing them of the charges against them, but all seven respondents refused to sign.

To Angula’s possible advantage the affidavit further reveals that the dismissed employees and national executive members allegedly used Nafwu letterheads without authority to write letters against Angula, accusing him of various misconduct.

“This constitutes fraud; it is a criminal offense and also entitles our client to approach a court in order to interdict you from using the letterhead,” Koep and Partners warned the unionists.

“Our instructions are that our client does not agree with you being on their premises and this serves as a final notice to stay away from our client’s premises,” the letter from Koep & Partners read.

One of the instances where the respondents allegedly used the letterhead was a letter titled ‘Hand over of Nafwu assets’.

This letter claimed that the central committee had taken the decision to support a resolution taken by the national executive to reinstate three of the seven respondents.

The letter also demanded that the union put De Jongh and her deputy on suspension immediately and reinstate Kativa, Nguvauva and Phillips.

The letter further informed Angula that his term came to an end on 31 May 2013, and therefore instructed him to hand over all union assets and that if he signed any cheque as from 1 June 2013 action would be taken against him.

Angula faces charges of defrauding Nafwu of N$1.2 million. Police arrested him on October 16 after international donor agency Fes Belgium laid charges against him over money it had donated to the union. The funds have allegedly gone missing.
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