NPPTA and Nghimtina case set for court on Friday

WINDHOEK: The case between the Minister of Works and Transport Erkki Nghimtina and the NPPTA on the recognition of only one bus and taxi union in Namibia, is set for the High Court on Friday.

The Namibia Public Passenger Transport Association (NPPTA) Secretary-General Nathan Africa told Nampa on Thursday that the union is optimistic about a positive outcome on the case.

“We expect that the court will order the minister to retract his statement, and hope to see the amendment of the Transportation Bill. Our application to the court is based on Article 21 of the Namibian Constitution which states that all persons shall have the right to freedom of association, which shall include freedom to form and join associations or unions, including trade unions and political parties,” he said.

The NPPTA filed an application with the High Court of Namibia in November 2013, challenging the minister’s decision to recognise the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) as the only legally mandated association in the public transport sector.

In October last year, Nghimtina announced in a media statement that Nabta has fulfilled its obligation as required by law, and the ministry is satisfied with its Constitution and its Certificate of Registration from the Office of the Labour Commissioner.

However, NPPTA accused Nghimtina of being “brainwashed”, and that he is encouraging “the chaos that prevails in the industry”.

The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), acting on the instructions of the NPPTA, requested the Minister of Works and Transport to retract the statement, but the minister stood by his decision, hence the latest legal challenge.

The NPPTA was set up in 2012, and only received its Certificate of Registration as an employers’ association on 07 October 2013.

It has about 800 members countrywide.