Businessman-cum-farmer Fadi Ayoub, who made headlines because of his extradition to France where he faced rape charges, is in the news again.
This time however he has sued TransNamib over a locked pump room which he uses to irrigate a property he leases from the parastatal.
He approached the High Court with an urgent application for a rule nisi to order TransNamib to restore his “peaceful and undisturbed possession” of the water supply at Bahnhoff station in the Rehoboth district.
He further asked the court to order TransNamib to remove a padlock on the pump room, or alternatively to give him the key.
TransNamib did not oppose the urgent application, but they gave notice that they will oppose the action on the return date of the rule nisi, which is February 29.
In the meantime the judge issued an order granting Ayoub his prayers pending the final decision of the High Court on the return date.
According to an affidavit filed by Ayoub he is leasing a piece of land from TransNamib, where he has approximately 8 168 square metres of Brazilian grass under irrigation.
He told the court that he uses what is called a rainfall irrigation system, which basically is a machine connected to a 50cm wide pipe which is propelled by the pressure of the water in the pipe.
About three bars of pressure are required to move the water along the plantation.
The pipe itself is connected to six 10 000-litre tanks, which are connected to the water reservoir of the station.
Ayoub says the tanks fill up simultaneously and supply water to the irrigation system to maintain the requisite pressure.
He said he was in peaceful and undisturbed possession of the water supply until TransNamib locked him out of the pump room.
He further said he has a connection to five of the water tanks, while the rest of the community consisting of about 18 households share the remaining tank.
Water is pumped to a reservoir situated on the property from a borehole through an electric pump connected to the national grid, he stated.
Ayoub installed a new pump at his own expense after the pump belonging to TransNamib broke down.
He further said that since he had noticed that people had free access to the pump station and were switching the pump on and off thereby interrupting the water supply to the reservoir, which meant he did not receive the requisite amount of water to operate the irrigation system, he decided to lock the pump room with a padlock.
He said he gave the key to a TransNamib employee at the station, one Kalimbo, who instead removed his padlock and secured the pump room with his own thereby effectively depriving him of the required water to operate his irrigation system.
He further stated he did not consent to be locked out of the pump room and submitted that it constituted a “blatant act of spoliation”. He thus asked the court to restore his right to the pump room.