30 July 2012

Namibia: Petrotek Director Resigns Over 'Loan'

A MEMBER of the board of directors of the fuel supply and prospecting company Petrotek has resigned over negative reporting about an alleged loan that he took from the company.

Clive Kavendjii, who tendered his resignation on July 24, hand-delivered his letter to managing director Isaiah Kavendjii, who was suspended on July 18.

When asked why he has not given his resignation from the company to chairman Tarah Shaanika, Kavendjii said: "As far as I'm concerned, Isaiah [Kavendjii] is still the managing director."

He also said that the court challenge on the Petrotek shareholding is also still pending at the High Court.

The resignation letter has so far not reached the chairman of the Petrotek board, Tarah Shaanika, who yesterday said he was not aware of the resignation.

"As far as I'm concerned he is still a shareholder and director of Petrotek," said Shaanika.

Isaiah Kavendjii was suspended on July 18, but his suspension is questioned by some directors, who feel that Shaanika, who signed the suspension letter and who replaced Tobie Aupindi on the Petrotek board on July 2, is not the legitimate chairperson of the board.

Clive Kavendjii took issue with reports that he had received N$25 000 from Petrotek as a loan, saying the money was part payment for a legal opinion he had provided to Petrotek on its application for the Ministry of Works and Transport's e-fuel tender, one that the company failed to secure.

For this job, he billed Petrotek for N$34 5000.

In his letter, Kavendjii wrote that Petrotek's refusal to pay the rest was premised on the assumption that such payment "may expose Petrotek to demands from other shareholders and directors who have rendered services to Petrotek".

To The Namibian, Clive Kavendjii unambiguously stated that he had never approached Isaiah Kavendjii or Kriaat Kamanya for a loan, saying in fact he was unaware of money being given to directors, whether in the form of loans or contributions.

There was a controversy over whether the money given to directors were "loans" or "contributions". On the one hand, managing director Kavendjii said loans were given to directors, but others felt that these were not loans, but in fact contributions made to them for work they had done for the company.

The news of Kavendjii's resignation did not surprise a Petrotek board member who preferred to remain anonymous.

"We expected it," the director said. "He came into the company to provide a service and ended up as a shareholder."

This source said Kavendjii must have found out that there is "no good fortune" for him in Petrotek, and stressed that "trust has gone sour" among the shareholders.

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