Namibia: Diamond Valuation Contract Still in Effect

15 April 2021

Towards the end of February this year, C-Sixty Investments (PTY) Ltd, the company valuating diamonds for Namibia Desert Diamonds (Namdia) on behalf of the mines ministry, notified the ministry under the leadership of its new owner and management of the change of its company name to Nuska Technologies CC and the subsequent change of their banking details.

A statement from mines ministry spokesperson Andreas Simon noted that this decision was taken by the owners of C-Sixty Investments - now Nuska Technologies CC - and had a bearing on the contract entered into between the ministry and C-Sixty Investments.

"This implies that the agreement, as per the contract, still remains in effect, despite the change in the name and ownership of the company," Simon stated.

The ministerial clarification comes after allegations by Windhoek mayor Job Amupanda that the valuation contract was given to an Israeli company without proper procedures being followed. Amupanda made the allegations on social media, saying: "While we are being told of C-Sixty as diamond evaluation of NAMDIA, it seems that the regime has brought in an Israeli Company, Nuska Technology (with links to "top" Jitas) without advertising the tender and under the table. NAMDIA, Public Enterprises & Mines & Energy explain, fast"! Meanwhile, Simon noted that the ministry entered into a contract with C-Sixty Investments for five years, effective 20 October 2016, meaning the contract only lapses on 20 October 2021 and is therefore still in effect. "On 7 September 2020, the Ministry of Mines and Energy, in terms of the contract, notified C-Sixty of its intention not to renew the contract once it lapses. This is evidence of the ministry informing the company that the contract will not be renewed," Simon explained. He added that on 13 October 2020, C-Sixty Investments notified the ministry that Doron Cohen would be taking overall operations and financial control of the company, thus replacing previous owners John Walenga and Tironenn Kauluma. "This implies that effective from that date, Mr Cohen holds 100% shares in C-Sixty Investments (PTY) Ltd. Furthermore, it is worth clarifying that Mr Cohen had been a consultant of C-Sixty Investments (PTY) Ltd, leading the technical functions of the company," read the ministry's statement.

Responding to media queries, the State-owned diamond marketing company, Namdia, stated it does not have any contractual obligations with the diamond evaluation company C-60 or Nuska Technologies (Pty) Ltd and, therefore, cannot comment on any of the questions posed. "The services for the valuation of the diamonds are contracted by our shareholder and, thus, they would be best suited to respond to the enquiries," Said Namdia spokesperson Beverley Coussement.

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