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Trustco loses round in court against Bank of Namibia

Trustco group chief executive Quinton van Rooyen says his group’s legal battles with the Bank of Namibia remain “far from over”, after a High Court judge on Friday refused to have a case about the central bank’s decision to suspend the operations of Trustco Bank dealt with as an urgent matter.

“This is just one interlocutory judgement in an interim matter in extensive ongoing legal proceedings,” Van Rooyen said in a media statement after judge Boas Usiku struck an urgent application filed by Trustco Bank and Trustco Group Holdings off the court roll in the Windhoek High Court.

Van Rooyen remarked: “While disappointed by the urgency dismissal, Trustco always follows the rule of law.”

He added: “Trustco will always comply with any lawful and reasonable instruction from any regulator or higher authority. We will always oppose tyranny and unjust instructions. That is the DNA of Trustco. The saga remains far from over.”

Trustco Bank and Trustco Group Holdings in August filed an urgent application against the Bank of Namibia, the bank’s governor, Johannes !Gawaxab, and other parties, after the central bank decided to suspend the operations of Trustco Bank with effect from 18 August.

Trustco Bank and Trustco Group Holdings asked the court to issue an interdict stopping the Bank of Namibia from implementing its decision to suspend the operations of Trustco Bank.

The Bank of Namibia is alleging, in another case pending in the High Court, that Trustco Bank is insolvent, with its liabilities exceeding its assets, and that it is also unable to pay its debts.

In an affidavit filed at the court, Van Rooyen has accused the central bank of “illegal and irrational conduct” and of trying to cause Trustco Bank and Trustco Group holdings “as much harm and prejudice as possible” with its decision to suspend the bank’s operations.

Usiku said in his judgement on Friday he was not persuaded that the two applicants showed there were special circumstances warranting the hearing of their application for an interdict on an urgent basis.

They did not show they would not be able to get substantial redress at a hearing in due course, and the losses they said they would suffer as a result of the suspension of the bank’s business were not the kind that justified having their application placed at the top of the queue of cases waiting to be heard in the High Court, Usiku said.

He struck the application from the court roll, and ordered Trustco Group Holdings and Trustco Bank to pay the Bank of Namibia’s legal costs in the matter.