United Africa Loses Pension Appeal

Almost four years to the date since the award of a tender for the cash payment of social grants to Epupa Investments was challenged in the High Court, the matter was put to rest by a decision of the Supreme Court.

Judges of Appeal Gerhard Maritz, Sylvester Mainga and Simpson Mtambanengwe dismissed an appeal that United Africa Group (UAG) brought against a decision by the Windhoek High Court in June 2011.

Acting Judge of the High Court, Petrus Unengu, dismissed the application to review and set aside the Tender Board’s decision with costs. UAG then turned to the Supreme Court in March last year.

In the appeal judgment, Acting Justice Mtambanengwe who wrote the judgment said he cannot fault the decision of the High Court and that the appeal must as a result be dismissed.

The judge said the argument of UAG that Epupa did not provide a bank guarantee as required by the tender conditions holds no water as the condition expressly states that the bank guarantee is required only upon the award of the tender.

He said that the Tender Board’s decision to award the tender to Epupa was the prerogative of the board and in line with the Tender Board Act’s provisions that the tenderer complies with specifications.

Epupa’s price was considerably lower at N$135.5 million than that of UAG at N$144.04 million for the five-year contract ending next year. Judge Mtambanengwe awarded Epupa costs on the scale of one instructing and one instructed counsel.

UAG was represented by Aocate Theo Frank assisted by Geoffrey Dicks on instruction of Theunissen, Louw and Partners and Epupa by George Coleman instructed by Angula Coleman Legal Practitioners.

Source : New Era