We refer to our earlier communiqué dated Friday, 9 June 2023 to the effect that Menzies will cease performing ground handling operations at HKIA on 12 June 2023, and that Paragon will commence rendering ground handling services at HKIA on 13 June 2023. The aforesaid communiqué was issued pursuant to the Supreme Court judgment of 9 June 2023 that dismissed Menzies' appeal against a High Court order of 29 June 2022, which found that the contract between Menzies and NAC for the provision of ground handling services at HKIA terminated on 30 June 2022.
Kindly take note that Menzies instituted urgent court proceedings in the High Court that were served on NAC and Paragon in the late afternoon of Monday, 12 June 2023, seeking suspension of the court order in terms of which Menzies was supposed to cease rendering ground handling services at HKIA on 12 June 2023. A court hearing took place at 17:30 p.m. on the same date, i.e., 12 June 2023, which proceeded into the late evening.
We further refer to our follow-up communiqué of 12 June 2023, wherein we indicated that pursuant to hearing legal submissions from the parties' respective legal representatives only on points in limine i.e., preliminary matters strictly confined to purely legal issues, without considering the substantive merits of the case, the court reserved judgment and postponed the matter to Thursday, 15 June 2023 for delivery of judgment. Kindly take note that judgment was eventually delivered at 10:00 a.m. earlier today, the upshot of which is that the court postponed the case to Tuesday, 4 July 2023 for a hearing in respect of the underlying merits of the matter,i.e., the substantive dispute between the parties vis-a-vis the case forming the subject matter hereof.
The court postponed the case in the manner aforesaid to afford NAC and Paragon an opportunity to file their Answering Affidavits as they did not have time to do so on Monday, since Menzies only gave them 30 minutes for aforesaid purposes. This is in that Menzies required NAC and Paragon to file their respective notices opposing Menzies' legal proceedings by 17:00 p.m. on Monday, whereas they set the matter down for hearing 30 minutes thereafter, i.e., 17:30 p.m. In the interim, Menzies will also be afforded an opportunity to file a Replying Affidavit to the Answering Affidavits that will be filed by NAC and Paragon, after which all parties, i.e., Menzies, Paragon and NAC will file their respective Heads of Argument well before the hearing date alluded to above, for the judge's consideration in substantively adjudicating the case on the merits as enunciated above.
In light of the continuing litigation in this regard, kindly take note that Menzies will continue to provide ground handling services at HKIA in the intervening period, pending delivery of judgment after the hearing that is scheduled to take place on 4 July 2023, as more fully set out in the foregoing. Kindly take note that we will continue to update all stakeholders regarding the outcome of the envisaged court proceedings on 4 July 2023.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, Bisey /Uirab
Namibia Airports Company