THE legal battle between Namibia’s only two teachers’ unions, Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) and the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu), over members’ fees was today settled in the high court.
TUN last year dragged Nantu to court for failing to comply with an order that compelled it to stop deducting money from salaries of teachers who resigned from the union within two months of receiving the notification.
The order also suggested that the unions supply a list of resignations to one another at the end of each month.
A number of teachers resigned from Nantu to join TUN, but the former continued to deduct membership fees from their salaries. TUN, as a result, instituted a legal claim against the former, following which an agreement was reached.
Nantu’s non-compliance with the agreement in turn forced TUN to approach the high court to charge them for contempt of court and to have them committed to jail. Simeon Kavila, a teacher from Onesi Secondary School and Basilius Haingura, Nantu’s General Secretary, are named as respondents in the matter.
The high court, however, dismissed the application after it was found that the teachers who resigned from Nantu did not comply with the organisation’s constitution. They failed to comply with the resignation requirements by doing so in writing and filing the necessary documents.
“Nantu cannot properly be held to be in contempt of the court order in the circumstances. It is the resigning members’ action in compliance with Nantu’s constitution that can enable Nantu to comply with the court order,” Judge Thomas Masuku ruled.