The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration yesterday suffered another setback when Judge Shafimana Uitele interdicted it from either arresting, detaining or deporting a man who has been living in Namibia for at least eight years on and off.
Coenraad Prollius, a hairstylist by profession, took the ministry, the acting chairperson of the Immigration Selection Board, the Immigration Selection Board, the Immigration Tribunal, an employee Immanuel Erishi and one Christian M Zu Hohenlohe ‘Prince’ Langenburg to court over a decision not to grant him a work permit and seven days to leave Namibia.
The government respondents opposed the matter, but ‘Prince’ did not.
According to Prollius, his troubles with the immigration authorities started soon after he had a falling out with ‘Prince’, an erstwhile friend and business partner. He said in an affidavit filed with the court that ‘Prince’ claimed money from him, to which he was not entitled, and when he refused to pay ‘Prince’ set his good friend Erishi, an immigration official, on him to “make sure I leave Namibia”.
Prollius further claimed that Erishi and ‘Prince’ are well acquainted and that ‘Prince’ used this connection to extract his revenge.
According to Prollius, he was visited by Erishi at his salon on June 10 last year and was asked for his permits as he had apparently heard that Prollius was in the country illegally. When he enquired from Erishi whether he got his information from ‘ Prince’, the enquiry was halted, Prollius added.
But it did not stop there, he said. On April 5 this year he was informed that his application for a work permit was rejected as his skills are widely available in Namibia and the market “is saturated”.
He immediately appealed the decision through his lawyer on April 28 and was asked by a certain Mrs Diedericks from the ministry to provide documents already submitted, which he did, and was flabbergasted when he received another rejection letter dated the same day.
He said it was just not possible for the officials to receive the documents, convene a meeting and make a decision in a matter of a day. He again appealed the decision on July 7 and received a reply on August 4 that his application was again rejected, but only this time it was inserted that no more appeals would be considered and that he has seven days to leave the country. To make matters more intriguing, Prollius said, was that the letter was hand-delivered by none other than Erishi himself.
This conduct by the acting chairperson and the Immigration Selection Board is clearly indicative of a failure to apply their minds to the issues in question and a clear demonstration of arbitrary, unfair and unreasonable administrative action, Prollius stated.
He continued: “This is compounded by the actions of Erishi, who appears to have spearheaded the second and third respondent in his quest to have me packing from Namibia. Erishi, and by necessary implication the second respondent acted male fide (unreasonably) and with vindictive intent. Erishi also sat on the Immigration Selection Board, and clearly vindicated himself, while pleasing the ‘Prince’, to orchestrate my demise.”
He asked the court to issue an order for the six respondents to show cause why an order interdicting them from arresting, detaining or deporting him from Namibia should not be made final by September 21. Judge Uitele issued the order.
The government respondents were represented by Ngatatue Kandovazu from the Government Attorney’s Office and Prollius by Advocate Richard Heathcote, SC, on instructions from Etzold-Duvenhage Attorneys.