High Court win for Paratus

26 March 2020 | Business

Yolanda Nel – Paratus Communications were successful in the High Court on Thursday following the City of Windhoek’s (CoW) illegal use of the City Police to confiscate equipment in February.
Judge AJ Unengu ordered that the CoW and the municipal council are interdicted and restrained from unlawfully interfering with or obstructing Paratus’ current or future exercise of its rights, powers, duties and functions as per the Communications Act.
According to Paratus managing director Andrew Hall, this is not limited to the rights, powers, duties and functions contained in the part 5 of the Act and includes the installation of fibre optic cable installations within Windhoek by Paratus itself or through its duly appointed contractors.
“The CoW was of the opinion that the only way for Paratus to continue deploying infrastructure, would be to provide them with additional infrastructure, at our own cost,” he said, adding that this infrastructure was intended for their own use which they may have later used to compete directly with Paratus.
Paratus chief executive Barnie Harmse agreed that this judgement speaks to the rule of law in Namibia. “This is a victory for the ICT industry as a whole,” he said.
According to Harmse, the company has lost millions in work that was interrupted by the CoW since May 2018.
In February this year, the CoW through the City Police, confiscated equipment in an effort to halt Paratus from continuing their work to lay fibre optic cable.
Judge Unengu also ordered that CoW and the municipal council, pay the costs of the application, including the costs of one instructing and two instructed counsel.

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