Govt ‘forced’ NTB into Kora deal

06 May 2021 | Justice

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

The legal team of Kora All Africa Music Awards founder Ernst Adjovi says the Namibian Tourism Board (NTB) was forced by government to sign the agreement through which the board lost N$23 million.

Government, through the tourism ministry, entered into a US$6 million national agreement with Mundial Telecom Sarl to hold the awards ceremony in Namibia, which clearly stipulated that US$2 million must be paid to the company by 11 December 2015, the court heard yesterday.

According to the agreement, should this US$2 million not be secured and paid by that date to Mundial, the event would not be held and the parties would have no further obligations to one another.

NTB CEO Digu //Naobeb was back in the stand yesterday for cross-examination by Adjovi’s defence lawyer, James Diedericks.

Diedericks said regardless of the apparent breaches in the NTB contract, it states that if Mundial does not receive US$2 million by 11 December 2015, the ceremony would not take place.

He further said //Naobeb had raised several concerns with the agreement and said NTB was forced by the government and the tourism ministry into signing the contract.



No choice

“NTB had no choice in signing the agreement, because the government said so,” the lawyer said.

He went on to say that NTB also had no say in the payment amount or the date of the payments, which were made separately.

Meanwhile, //Naobeb was out of the country at the time the agreement was signed, he said.

He admitted that in his capacity as CEO, he would not have signed the agreement as is, saying it was “rushed”.

He added that he wanted NTB’s lawyers to handle the agreement, but it was handed over to the Attorney General at that time, Sacky Shanghala.

Diedericks also accused government of -through the tourism ministry - directing the NTB to instigate legal action against his client, saying that the company is just in court as debt collectors for the ministry. Kaitjata Kangueehi appeared for NTB in front of Judge Herman Oosthuizen.

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