Amushelelo to pay legal costs in Namib Mills case

A judge of the Windhoek High Court has ordered social activist Michael Amushelelo to pay the legal costs of the food-producing company Namib Mills in a case about threats by Amushelelo to shut down the company.

In a judgement delivered on Monday, judge Hannelie Prinsloo said Amushelelo made inflammatory statements against Namib Mills on social media and that his threats can potentially incite criminal acts.

The judge noted that Amushelelo’s statements on social media drew responses in which people threatened to sabotage and loot Namib Mills trucks and to damage products of the company.

Prinsloo said freedom of speech is a cornerstone of Namibian society, but freedom of speech that conflicts with other fundamental rights and leads to unlawful or criminal conduct would be in violation of the Constitution.

Prinsloo confirmed an interim interdict that she issued on 2 April, and ordered that Amushelelo should pay Namib Mills’ legal costs in the matter.

The interdict issued by the court states that Amushelelo and a group of 26 people working at Namib Mills may not unlawfully block entrances to the company’s premises, threaten to shut down its operations and make other threats against the company if Namib Mills did not comply with demands made by them.

Namib Mills applied for the interdict after Amushelelo blocked the entrance to one of the company’s depots in Windhoek in March, and posted messages on social media in which he stated that he had declared war on the company.

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