Captain Ashrafi sues pilots' association

The head of training at Air Namibia is suing over a letter in which he claims he was depicted as a danger to the public.

17 October 2019 | Justice

The head of training at Air Namibia, Captain Hossein Ashrafi, is suing the Namibia Airline Pilots Association (NAPA) for N$250 000 (plus 20% interest per year) for allegedly bringing his name into disrepute.

Ashrafi, a Canadian citizen, cites former NAPA president Manuel Prenzlow and four executives as respondents in the matter.

In the particulars of claim lodged with the High Court, Ashrafi says Prenzlow and NAPA “wrongfully, unlawfully, without reasonable and probable cause, intentionally” made defamatory allegations against him.

Prenzlow, in his capacity as the then president of NAPA, on 28 September 2018 wrote a letter to then acting manager of Air Namibia, Mandi Samson, in which he alleged that Ashrafi on more than one occasion had made statements to the effect that if the airline were to fire him, he would “take an aircraft along”.

Prenzlow's letter alleged that Ashrafi's alleged statements were “apparently well known to cabin crew and also some cockpit crew”.

Samson launched an investigation into the alleged safety concerns on the same day and Ashrafi was grounded but put back on flying duty on 29 October after the investigation failed to come up with any conclusive evidence.

Ashrafi states that Prenzlow's assertions could be construed to mean that he [Ashrafi] is an “anarchist, terrorist and a danger to the public and unfit and unworthy of employment as a pilot”.

Ashrafi states that apart from the defamatory meaning of NAPA's allegations, he has suffered further damages amounting to N$164 524.40 in lost income because he was grounded.

He wants a retraction of the NAPA complaint on the social media accounts of NAPA and its executives, as well as in the Namibian Sun, which published articles on the matter, within 10 days of a court order in his favour.





CATHERINE SASMAN

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