Air Namibia unable to escape N$350m storm

08 March 2019 | Transport

Air Namibia's attempts to directly engage Challenge Air SA over a N$350 million debt have suffered another setback, as attempts by their Belgian lawyer to engage the aviation firm were snubbed.

This has unleashed fresh threats that Air Namibia's assets and monies “around the world” would be seized.

This followers Air Namibia's appointment of Belgian lawyer Johan Durnez, who was to have engaged with the liquated aviation firm over a matter involving the payment of over N$350 million for Air Namibia's leasing of a Boeing 767 in 1998.

Durnez's power of attorney replaced that of Air Namibia's former lawyers Shikongo Law Chambers, which had represented the airline in its attempts to not pay Challenge Air SA.





Shikongo had also been snubbed.

Both Shikongo and Durnez had been repeatedly advised to engage Challenge Air's local representative Wilhelm Shali or law firm Sisa Namandje Incorporated.

Challenge Air's lawyers Clerens Legal Partners, who have instructed Belgian attorney Anicet Baum to act on its behalf, warned Air Namibia management that it would not be engaging any of its legal representatives if its Namibian representatives Shali or law firm Sisa Namandje Incorporated were not part of the process.

“To be even more clear and explicit, at the risk of overly repeating ourselves, Mr Anicet Baum, sole challenger of Challenge Air SA, is formal that he nor any lawyer representing him as sole receiver, does not want to negotiate with Mr Durnez who has been given power of attorney by Air Namibia and that negotiations have never started with Mr Durnez (sic),” the letter said.

The lawyers warned Air Namibia that its refusal to engage Shali or Sisa Namandje Incorporated would see it “execute” (lay claim to monies and property).

“We want to make it very clear that, as already indicated and confirmed to you by our previous letters, all negotiations with respect to this matter must be conducted through Mr Wilhelm Shali and Sisa Namandje Incorporated who have full authority thereto.

“If you prefer not to negotiate under the aforementioned conditions, we will just continue to execute in Germany, Europe and the whole world if necessary, so as to enforce the rights of our client, Mr Baum pursuant to the final and binding arbitral awards and court orders,” Clerens Legal Partners added.

The Durnez power of attorney was signed by Air Namibia's acting MD Mandi Samson on 1 February 2019.

“Air Namibia hereby revokes any and all general powers of attorneys that previously have been signed on behalf of Air Namibia,” the power of attorney authored by Samson read.

“My agent shall have full power and authority to act on my behalf. This power and authority shall authorise my agent to manage and conduct all of their affairs and to exercise all their legal rights and powers related to the case towards Mr Baum, receiver of Challenge Air SA in bankruptcy,” the letter reads.

Air Namibia board chairperson advocate Deidré Sauls-Deckenbrock did not comment when asked whether the board had given Samson the go-ahead to authorise Durnez to engage Challenge Air SA.

Challenge Air SA's local representative, Shali, has described the situation as unfortunate.

“Air Namibia is fully aware that the judgement in Munich is valid and is being executed. I do not understand why they are quiet as if it's business as usual, when even Challenge Air informs them that we have the mandate to resolve the issues,” Shali said.

Air Namibia had, according to him, been asked to amicably solve the matter.

“We are willing to come to the table as we have always been. Let them come and we see ways and means to resolve the issues. Of course, if they choose not to engage in discussions then they are the ones responsible for the mess they are putting our national airline in; it's sad,” he said.

Namibian Sun understands that Challenge Air SA is set to have the Munich ruling enforced in South Africa, as its accounts have been frozen in Germany.

Money collected by its German-based booking firm Aviareps has also been successfully extracted by Challenge Air SA, Namibian Sun understands.

OGONE TLHAGE

Similar News

 

Air Namibia abandons Lagos-Accra route

1 day - 24 May 2019 | Transport

In a statement issued this morning, Air Namibia announced that it, with immediate effect, has suspended its Windhoek-Lagos-Accra route. The route, which was launched at...

SA's Transnet hijacks Trans-Kalahari rail

2 weeks ago - 10 May 2019 | Transport

Transnet, South Africa's state rail corporation, has reconvened talks with its counterpart, Botswana Rail, to build a railway line to link the two countries.The move...

Namport impresses Masisi

1 month - 25 April 2019 | Transport

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has commended Namibia on its efforts to provide landlocked countries with dry ports.He was speaking during a visit to the Namibia...

Air Namibia board promises major changes

1 month - 12 April 2019 | Transport

The newly appointed Air Namibia board says it realises that “robust” short-and long-term changes are needed to turn around the troubled airline. After recent...

'We are not going to worship Geingob'

2 months ago - 15 March 2019 | Transport

President Hage Geingob has come under heavy fire from taxi boss Werner Januarie after State House cancelled a meeting with Namibian Transport and Taxi Union...

Two NAC execs off the hook

2 months ago - 15 March 2019 | Transport

Two executive managers at the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) appear to have been vindicated following the conclusion of disciplinary processes into alleged corruptive practices at...

World turns on Boeing

2 months ago - 14 March 2019 | Transport

Namibia has joined the growing list of countries that have banned Boeing's B737 MAX 8 aircraft from landing at their airports following a crash in...

TransNamib property worth N$2.4 billion

2 months ago - 13 March 2019 | Transport

TransNamib says it is has not decided whether any of its assets will be sold. Cabinet last year approved a request by the company to...

Taxi drivers want Geingob

2 months ago - 12 March 2019 | Transport

The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) has urged President Hage Geingob to address taxi drivers personally in order to restore their faith in the...

Airline in talks over N$350m debt

2 months ago - 12 March 2019 | Transport

Air Namibia says it is negotiating with Belgian aviation firm Challenge Air SA over the possible payment of over N$350 million for an aircraft it...

Latest News

10% water hike coming

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

The City of Windhoek has proposed a 10% water and 5% sewer tariff hike to come into effect in July. The City's recently announced...

Low earners excluded from drought...

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

Households with a combined income of more than N$2 600 will not qualify for state drought assistance, which has effectively excluded even low-level civil servants...

How did we get here?

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Opinion

How did we get to a situation, as a country, where our government is asking already struggling workers to donate 2% of the salaries as...

AMTA ends Fysal agreement

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Agriculture

Fysal Fresh Produce is to retrench 60 employees at the end of this month after its contract with the Agro-Marketing Trading Agency (AMTA) was terminated....

Geingob grills Nanso

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Education

The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leadership received a grilling from President Hage Geingob on Wednesday during a meeting to discuss a number of issues,...

Fallout over 2% tax

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Economics

Political parties and analysts have called on the government to abandon a plan to introduce a “voluntary” 2% tax to fund drought relief.Prime Minister Saara...

Bild challenges Guibeb

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | International

The German newspaper Bild has rubbished a claim by the Namibian ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb, that no arrest warrant had been issued against him.The...

Namibia ranks poorly for diversity

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Cultural

For a country that is described by many as one of the most diverse in the world, Namibia has ranked fairly poorly in a new...

Business ponders mass exodus

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Business

A recent survey by the Economic Policy Research Association (EPRA) of close to 600 businesses concerned about the government's policy direction shows that a staggering...

Load More