CRAN assessing High Court judgement

06 Oct 2016 20:20pm
WINDHOEK, 06 OCT (NAMPA) - The management of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) is in the process of assessing the recent High Court judgement in which Telecom Namibia Limited won a constitutional legal challenge against the communications regulatory body.
On 18 July 2016, Telecom Namibia Limited (applicant) took CRAN (first respondent) to the Windhoek High Court with an application asking the court to make a ruling about a section of Namibia's Communications Act of 2009 in respect of a distinction between a tax and a regulatory charge.
A ruling on this constitutional legal challenge application in which Telecom Namibia emerged victorious against CRAN was handed down by Acting High Court Judge Collins Parker on 29 September 2016.
“The Court concluded that the applicant (Telecom Namibia Limited) has demonstrated that the levy has the attributes of tax and the first respondent (CRAN) has not demonstrated that a relationship exists between the levy and the regulatory scheme. The Court further held that the charges provided in section 23(2)(a) of the Communications Act Eight of 2009 have the attributes of tax and are therefore not Constitution compliant. Accordingly, the constitutional challenge to section 23(2)(a) is upheld and the provision is declared unconstitutional,” said Acting Judge Parker as he ruled in favour of Telecom Namibia Limited.
In the result, the court gave an order and declared that section 23(2)(a) of the Communications Act Eight of 2009 and any regulation made there under are unconstitutional and invalid.
In addition, CRAN was ordered to pay the costs of the application that includes the costs of one instructing counsel and instructed counsels.
Meanwhile, the management of CRAN refused to comment on the High Court judgement against the communications regulatory body on Thursday.
“We are in the process of assessing the judgement and the implications thereof and, therefore, cannot comment on this matter at this point in time,” said CRAN's Chief Executive Officer Festus Mbandeka in a statement availed to Nampa on Thursday.
Advocate Raymond Heathcote represented Telecom Namibia Limited on the instructions of the Shikongo Law Chambers.
Advocate George Coleman appeared for CRAN on the instructions of Angula law firm.