There’s something very satisfying about a court blitzing rude, unresponsive public servants. South Africans suffer so much from poor service that the fact of this particular lambasting taking place in Namibia doesn’t reduce the satisfaction.

But the decision from that country’s highest court, delivered last week, has more to offer than a well-earned klap directed at useless bureaucrats. The central issue concerned a company in liquidation and the liquidators’ problems getting the information they needed. It raised what the Supreme Court called "an important question of law in our jurisprudence" about how the courts should view applications for a Companies Act inquiry. As SA’s company law is closely related to that of Namibia, it offers insights that could be useful here as well...

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