SUSPENDED Namibia Wildlife Resorts Managing Director Zelna Hengari approached the High Court in Windhoek for an urgent application to declare the non-renewal of her contract null and void.
She is arguing that NWR board instead of writing her a notice of not renewing her contract was by law obligated to meet six months in advance prior to the expiry of her contract to evaluate her performance and only then decide whether or not to renew her contract.
Hengari’s contract was due to end in July 16 this year. In January, she was served with a notice of non-renewal of her contract, where after she was suspended in April on allegations that she contracted NWR to a public private partnership with Sun Karros Lifestyle Safaris without necessary approval. Sun Karros reportedly constructed 20 luxurious tents, a pool, restaurant and ten campsites at NWR’s Sesriem campsite, to the value of N$43 million.
Her suspension is with full pay and benefits.
“The board should meet in accordance with the law and take a substantive, fair and reasonable decision. It is irregular and unlawful for the decision on my employment contract renewal to be made through a round robin resolution. They acted unfairly by not giving me an opportunity to be heard on the issue whether I performed well and satisfactorily during my five year tenure,” Hengari says in her founding statement.
She, through her lawyer Sisa Namandje contended that she has performed exceptionally well and that she would have demonstrated so to the board, had she been given a chance to make presentations.
She is arguing that the matter must be regarded as urgent, as she will suffer irreparable damages such as the disruption of her pension benefit, her salary and medical aid.