Vetkoek fight gains traction

11 April 2019 | Justice

The court battle over vetkoek flour packaging has finally gained momentum. A status hearing was held yesterday in the High Court before Judge Hosea Angula following a ruling on 13 March that an interim interdict, as applied for by Namib Mills, would not be issued but the matter would be heard on a normal basis.

In his answering affidavit, the commercial manager of Namib Mills, Pieter van Niekerk, told the court that Bokomo alleged that the introduction of Namib Mills' vetkoek flour had a significant impact on Bokomo's white bread flour sales. According to Van Niekerk, “it is apparent that (Bokomo's) sales were declining anyway. What is significant is the sudden increase in sales that occurred since Bokomo started selling its vetkoek flour in the get-up it misappropriated.”

Van Niekerk accused Bokomo of not only delaying filing its answer to the founding affidavit, but also relying on a “significant body of documentary material” which it had failed to put before the court.

Moreover, he told the court that the market survey done by Bokomo was not performed by experts and said that Namib Mills would ask for all the relevant records relating to the research. He also questioned the sample size of 400 respondents and their geographic location.

He added that the survey had no bearing on Namib Mills' primary course of action.

“Bokomo indicates that the purpose of the market survey was to indicate that no 'passing off whatsoever takes place'. Namib Mills' course of action is not limited to passing off but is also based on the Industrial Property Act, which provides that 'any act of competition contrary to honest practices in industrial or commercial matters is unlawful',” Van Niekerk said.

Bokomo had said in its original answering affidavit that it had decided to change its packaging because of the 'white on white' printing.

Van Niekerk rejected this outright, saying, “This 'white on white' pack, introduced in 2015, would have been researched at length, printer's proofs would have been signed off, artwork signed off, and so on. Bokomo would have understood exactly what its pack was to look like.

“Bokomo indicates that a strategic decision was made to change its packaging in phases … the pack change was planned in early 2017, presumably when the 'strategic decision' took place. Yet the implementation was made only in November 2018.”

Van Niekerk asked why, if the packaging was so fraught with dismal consequences, it had taken so long to implement changes.

Van Niekerk flatly denied Bokomo's allegation that Namib Mills' vetkoek flour was simply white bread flour. Hubertus Hamm, CEO of Bokomo, filed his reply on 1 April. The affidavit deals only with discovery as requested by Namib Mills.

Save for some correspondence which he described as “subject to legal privilege”, Hamm said that the research could be made available to Namib Mills at a cost, adding that other documentation requested could be inspected.

Regarding the white-on-white packaging, he said: “The branding directives and final designs, as well as the correspondence relating thereto, are available for inspection.”

Tobias Louw from Theunissen, Louw and Partners appeared for Namib Mills, while Daneale Beukes from Engling, Stritter and Partners appeared for Bokomo Namibia.


Similar News


Moms up in arms

3 days ago - 17 May 2019 | Justice

Throngs of desperate mothers claim they are being turned away daily from the Rehoboth Maintenance Court, despite the lofty service delivery goals set by the...

Back to work for Ondonga court

4 days ago - 16 May 2019 | Justice

Justice minister Sackey Shanghala has instructed the Ondonga Traditional Authority Community Court (OTACC) to resume its operations at Onethindi.This comes after Shanghala suspended the court...

Three deny killing elderly farmer

4 days ago - 16 May 2019 | Justice

NAMPA Three people on trial in the High Court for the murder of Usakos farmer Willem de Klerk in October 2015 have...

Agribank and Haingura in court tussle

4 days ago - 16 May 2019 | Justice

Agribank is suing former deputy health minister Petrina Haingura for defaulting on four loans. The total amount the banks wants paid is N$372 834 with...

Walvis Bay kidnappers found guilty

1 week ago - 13 May 2019 | Justice

Walvis Bay residents Logan Pretorius, Sandra Riobo, Ashley Januarie and Curven Vries were found guilty on charges of kidnapping and assault with intent to do...

Deadline for City on Kanime suspension

1 week ago - 13 May 2019 | Justice

A last-minute agreement hastily hashed out in a courtroom on Friday at the urging of Windhoek High Court Judge Harald Geier compels the Windhoek City...

Killer sues for N$700k

1 week ago - 13 May 2019 | Justice

A man serving 20 years behind bars for his role in the murder of a Namibian Defence Force colonel during an armed robbery near Windhoek...

Murder charges dropped against student

1 week ago - 10 May 2019 | Justice

The Office of the Prosecutor-General has declined to prosecute Simon Shoongeleni (26) for the fatal stabbing of Felix Jacob Gaseb (19) on Monday, 19 February...

Kanime matter back in City’s hands

1 week ago - 10 May 2019 | Justice

JANA-MARI SMITHIn an unexpected turn of events, lawyers representing City Police chief Abraham Kanime and the City’s CEO and council, this morning managed to craft...

I didn't do it - NIMT suspect

1 week ago - 10 May 2019 | Justice

NIMT employee Ernst Lichtenstrasser (57) was finally charged with the murders of Eckhart Mueller and Heimo Hellwig at Arandis.Lichtenstrasser appeared before the Swakopmund's Magistrate's Court...

Latest News

Rehoboth claim Kudus scalps

13 hours ago | Sports

Leandrea Louw Rehoboth Rugby Club claimed victory over Kudus in both the premier and reserve leagues on Saturday in Narraville.The premier league game ended 11-10...

Namibians nabbed in SA with...

13 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT Two Namibian men were arrested in South Africa this weekend for allegedly being in possession of uncut diamonds to the value of...

Missing hiker alive and well...

13 hours ago | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT A 31-year-old Namibian, who went missing last week while hiking in a park in California, has been found alive and well. There was...

Let the games begin

13 hours ago | Columns

The Electoral Commission of Namibia last week announced 27 November as the date for the upcoming general election, which will be preceded by the supplementary...

Stray lions kill three cattle

13 hours ago | Environment

ILENI NANDJATOTwo stray lions killed three cattle last week in the grazing area near the Ongandjera salt pan at Okakewa.Okakewa is situated near Amarika in...

Where to from here?

13 hours ago | Sports

For all local football's claims to be the biggest sport in Namibia, it has never won a match at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon)...

What dreams are made of

13 hours ago | Sports

My friend informed me that her daughter send me a congratulatory message a week ago after she heard that I was nominated for the fourth...

Fish River festival set to...

13 hours ago | Sports

Footballers from every corner of the country will converge on Mariental for the third edition of the Fish River Sports Festival that will take place...

Vikings slay Dolphins

13 hours ago | Sports

Adolf Kaure SFC Vikings defeated Dolphins Rugby Club 29-16 in a Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) first division west match that took place on Saturday at...

Load More