Windhoek — Justice minister Sacky Shanghala has labelled the case before the Windhoek High Court involving the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB), which is seeking to recover over N$23 million from the organisers of the Kora All-Africa Music Awards, as a waste of time.
The NTB is suing Mundial Telecom, Ernst Adjovi and his local business partner Tonata Shiimi in a bid to recover N$23.5 million that the parastatal paid towards the hosting of the Kora awards by Namibia in 2016, but which did not happen.
//Naobeb in his witness statement indicated that NTB first paid the Adjovi-owned company N$5 million on 22 December 2015, and a further N$5 million the next day.
On 7 January 2016, an amount of N$5 million was paid to Mundial Telecom. A final payment of about N$8.5 million was paid on 17 February 2016, just weeks before Namibia was scheduled to host the awards ceremony on 20 March.
In court papers, Adjovi claimed Shanghala was responsible for drafting the agreements between Mundial Telecom, NTB and the Namibian government.
However, Shanghala denied this last week, saying he only got involved in the final stages of the deal.
"I am not the one who directed that payment be made in advance and it would be prudent for all involved to take responsibility for their own deeds. I would like to caution that even 'sources' have agendas and interests too," said Shanghala.
"In my view, the court case is/was nothing but a waste of time to save face and create the impression that effort was made, yet without realisable assets in this jurisdiction to be able to actually recover the money, and I am yet to be proven otherwise."
He had suggested that owners of the Kora awards be engaged in a bid to settle the matter out of court.
"I held the view then and still do now, that trying to recover those amounts may well cost nearly similar quantities given the exchange rates, in legal fees on the continent of Europe," explained Shanghala.
However, both NTB and Adjovi have failed to reach a settlement on the matter, which will now be back on the court roll on 18 November this year for an allocation of new trial dates.
In his witness statement, Adjovi implicated Shanghala, saying the former attorney-general was well aware of the obligations of all parties involved in the matter.
"During a telephone discussion on March 1, 2016 Mr Shanghala undertook to find the sponsors necessary (as agreed by the government) to cover the costs of supplies and pay them directly. I understood this was the obligation of the government of Namibia in terms of the agreement between it and the first defendant," Adjovi stated in his witness statement.