Cash-in-transit box at centre of court battle

An employee from Namibia Protection Services emphatically denies that he caused the loss of a box of cash in transit.

30 July 2019 | Justice

A matter in which Namibia Protection Services is suing a former employee, Michael Humphries, resumed in the High Court yesterday for continuation of trial.

Namibia Protection Services (NPS) is claiming N$282 240.45 from Humphries, which they say was lost due to Humphries's negligence.

In its particulars of claim, NPS says Humphries was employed on 29 May 2017 as the company's southern area manager. It lists all the details of his employment contract, adding that there were certain terms of his employment which had to be met.

According to its papers before court, NPS says that on 4 August 2017, Humphries had conducted a cash-in-transit operation, collecting N$242 420.25 (known as the pick-up) from the NWR /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings Spa and Resort.

He did not provide hourly updates to the Keetmanshoop office and “neglected to take all reasonable steps to deliver the cash-in-transit pick-up to the relevant financial institution”. Instead, NPS says, he drove to Noordoewer “to pick up his girlfriend to provide her with transportation to Keetmanshoop”, in the company car, delaying the entire operation by three hours.

Then, on or around 8 August, the pick-up, containing N$282 240.45 was stolen from the Keetmanshoop office.

NPS says it now owes /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings Spa and Resort the said amount, which its insurer had settled. Thus, Humphries owes N$242 240.45 to NPS.

Alternatively, NPS told the court that should it not find that Humphries was negligent in the performance of his duties in terms of his employment contract, it should find that he in fact stole the amount of N$242 240.45.

NPS asked for payment of the amount, 20% annual interest and costs.

Humphries, through his counsel Trevor Brockerhoff, filed a motion on intention to defend the matter and in March of this year, filed his witness statement in defence of the charges made by NPS.

He told the court that he had indeed departed for Hobas Camp and /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings Spa and Resort on 4 August, adding that it is part of his duties to deliver security guards to and from /Ai-/Ais as well as Noordoewer for rotation purposes.

At Hobas Camp he was informed that the system was offline and the money could not be released but did collect the pick-up at /Ai-/Ais. They proceeded to Noordoewer where he refuelled, adding that he “gave a lift to a lady back to Keetmanshoop”.

They arrived at around 17:00 that Friday afternoon, and he told the court it was his weekend off. He locked the cash in the office safe, he said.

The next morning he called and since the office was understaffed, they told him they could not make the deposit that Saturday.

On Monday, a colleague denied that she had any knowledge of the money in the safe, but Humphries says she put the box next to the safe, adding that the money would be deposited by 14:00 that afternoon. Humphries told the court he ran several work errands that afternoon and when he returned to the office on the morning of 8 August, he discovered it had been broken into.

The trial continues before Judge Orben Sibeya. Jacobus Visser appears for NPS.





YANNA SMITH

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