He also said negotiations were conducted and concluded in good faith with the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN), while expressing the company’s sincere gratitude to all the affected employees for their time and commitment at the mine.According to Johnson, the company was working on two major projects – exploration drilling for the resource, and bidding for Orange River water extraction. “Both are necessary before we are able to look at the restart, which is the main objective,” he said, adding that the company will focus on the necessary work ahead. Asked why the company had decided to retrench workers when the minister had requested them not to do so until after the 10 September meeting, Johnson replied: “All is in the media statement”. MUN’s southern regional organiser Elvis Bekele yesterday condemned the retrenchments, and vowed that the union would lodge an urgent application to nullify what he called the “unfair dismissals of workers”. He accused the company of going ahead with the retrenchments while negotiations were still ongoing to find ways to minimise job losses. Bekele also expressed disappointment that the company ignored Alweendo’s request to temporarily suspend the retrenchments. “The MUN cannot tolerate such kinds of chicken behaviour by investors to undermine the highest authority in this country,” the unionist stated, calling on the government to revoke the company’s mining licence with immediate effect. “We are not going to allow these capitalist attitudes in this country. What the hell does he [Johnson] think? This is total nonsense,” he charged.