Dax Plans Appeal Against Eviction Order

FORMER National Council member Alfred Dax, who is facing eviction from a piece of farmland next to the Oanob Dam near Rehoboth, says he plans to take his battle to be allowed to remain on the land to the Supreme Court.

Dax told The Namibian yesterday that he plans to appeal against a High Court judgement in which the company that set up the Lake Oanob Resort next to the dam, Acasia Resorts, obtained an order for his eviction from a piece of land that he has been renting from the Rehoboth Town Council since November 2010.

“There are hidden motives behind this whole thing,” Dax said about the case in which Acasia Resorts obtained a summary judgement for his eviction from a piece of land officially known as farm Rehoboth Dorpsgrond No 302.

In terms of a lease agreement between Dax and the Rehoboth Town Council, the council agreed to rent 4 060 hectares of land to Dax for a period of 25 years from 24 November 2010.

Dax is using the land for livestock farming, and says close to 30 other families are also living on the land owned by the town council.

He also announced at the end of November last year that he and business partners plan to develop a waterfront resort on the south side of the Oanob Dam at a cost of some N$250 million.

However, by the time that Dax and the town council concluded the lease agreement, Acasia Resorts was already renting the same piece of land, in terms of an earlier lease agreement between the company and the agriculture ministry.

The ministry agreed in November 1994 to lease an area of 6 256 hectares around the Oanob Dam to Acasia Resorts for a period of fifty years.

That agreement is also in dispute, though, with the Cabinet having approved only a 25-year lease period and the Cabinet later taking a decision to revoke the lease agreement, Dax said in an affidavit filed with the court.

Dax informed the court that the land he has been renting from the town council is part of his ancestral land. His grandmother was born on that land in 1886, his mother was born there in 1929, and he was also born there in 1957, Dax said.

In 1945, his family was forced off the land under the pretext that they were Hereros, he stated. They later returned, but were again forced off the land in 1973 – that time, purportedly because they were Damaras, he said. They again returned to the land after that, he said.

In the judgement in which the eviction order was granted, Judge Dave Smuts found that the defences raised by Dax in opposition to Acasia Resorts’ application for a summary judgement against him were unconvincing, without merit and not sufficient to stave off a summary judgement.

He found that Dax failed to present any facts to the court to support a claim that the land leased to him did not form part of the land leased by Acasia Resorts. That claim by him was also contradicted and is internally inconsistent with one of his other defences, which was that he occupied the area on the basis of the lease agreement that he concluded with the Rehoboth Town Council, Judge Smuts found.

Acasia Resorts was represented by Ramon Maasdorp and senior counsel Theo Frank. Thabang Phatela and senior counsel Andrew Corbett represented Dax.

Source : The Namibian