TransNamib undecided on appealing Haimbili verdictBy: JAN POOLMAN
THE TransNamib board still has to decide whether to comply with an order from the Office of the Labour Commissioner to pay its former chief executive officer (CEO) N$900 000 for the remainder of his contract.
TransNamib was ordered by to pay its sacked CEO Titus Haimbili N$100 000 for each month remaining on his contract after he was fired by the parastatal.
The amount must be paid before the end of this month.
The acting CEO of TransNamib, Eugenia Tjaaronda, said the outcome of the Haimbili case had to be discussed with the board of directors and the company’s legal team before any decision would be taken.
The fired CEO told The Namibian after the verdict that the outcome suited him perfectly, as he had no intention to return to the parastatal.
The arbitrator said in her verdict that in the normal course of events she would have ordered the reinstatement of Haimbili but because the relationship between him and the employer seemed to be irretrievably broken down, it would not be appropriate.
Hamibili’s case of unfair dismissal served for arbitration before Kyllikki Sihlahla of the Office of the Labour Commissioner, where an order was made last week that his dismissal was procedurally unfair.
Haimbili was dismissed in March this year before the completion of his five-year contract.
His case was heard on August 14 and the ruling was made on Thursday.
TransNamib’s legal representative, Frans Kwala, could not attend the hearing and sent his associate, Werner van Rensburg, to request a postponement of the case.
The reasons for Kwala’s absence were given as a death in his family and another prior court engagement, which would not give him adequate time to prepare properly for the Haimbili case.
Some of TransNamib’s witnesses were not available due to prior commitments and if Van Rensburg represented TransNamib it would mean additional costs for the company, TransNamib argued in motivation for a postponement.
Sihlahla found that the reasons were not valid and did not grant the postponement, resulting in a walk-out by Van Rensburg.
She continued with the hearing, hearing only Haimbili’s testimony.
“I am inclined to take the version of the applicant as a true reflection of what actually transpired and the respondent will only have itself to blame and no one else after forfeiting a fair opportunity to hear the case of the applicant as well as state its own case including calling witnesses if need be,” said Sihlahla in her ruling.
According to her, Haimbili should have been afforded a fair opportunity to state his case, there were no disciplinary charges laid against him and no notice given to appear before a disciplinary hearing. TransNamib’s disciplinary code provides for these procedures and it is applicable to all staff members regardless of their seniority.