Witvlei Meat's case struck from court roll

19 Dec 2013 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 19 DEC (NAMPA) - The application by Witvlei Meat to stop the implementation of a Cabinet decision to call for bids from meat exporters for the exporting of Namibian beef to Norway, was struck from the High Court roll on Thursday.
“The application is struck from the roll. The applicant is ordered to pay the respondents’ costs, which will include the costs of one instructing and one instructed counsel. The second respondent is order to extend the date by which the bids for the allocation of the Norwegian quota should be submitted to 27 December 2013,” Judge Shafimana Ueitele said in his judgement.
Witvlei Meat applied for a court order that would stop Cabinet and the Ministers of Trade and Industry and Agriculture, Water and Forestry from carrying out the Cabinet decision to allocate the Norwegian beef export quotas for 2014 through a bidding process, in which prospective exporters’ bids for an export quota would be considered according to a number of criteria. The criteria include the price paid to producers, employment created as a result of the export quotas, value addition and the reinvestment of proceeds received from the quotas.
Only Witvlei Meat and the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) have qualified so far to export 1 600 tonnes of beef tariff-free annually to Norway.
However, in his judgement, Ueitele noted that the applicant’s challenge of the decision of the first respondent was not vexatious and unreasonable.
“I am of the view that the applicant’s challenge of the decision of the first respondent was not vexatious and unreasonable. I therefore direct that the second respondent must extend the date for the submission of the tenders to 27 December 2013,” he added.
Cabinet decided in August 2010 that the annual export quota would be divided equally between Meatco and Witvlei. At the same time, it also stated that Government would review the quota allocation to accommodate new exporters who meet European Union (EU) or Norwegian export standards.
Witvlei Meat however requested the High Court to prevent Government from implementing a bidding process for the allocation of the Norway beef quota for 2014. This would have devastating consequences for the workers and the abattoir, it said.
The Minister of Trade and Industry Calle Schlettwein, acting on behalf of the first (Cabinet), second (Trade and Industry Ministry) as well as the fourth respondent (Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry), argued that the application be dismissed as Witvlei’s case was totally deficient, while proof of allegations made was missing.
The other respondents in the urgent court interdict are the Meat Board of Namibia (third respondent), Meatco (fifth respondent) and Brukkaros Meat Processors (sixth respondent).
The Board Chairman of Witvlei Meat, Sidney Martin in his affidavit made it clear that the company is financially not in a position to export a smaller quota of meat to Norway.