Israeli diamantaire threatens to sue newspaper

Nuska Technologies' Doron Cohen's lawyers gave this publication until 21 April to retract a story about a Namdia diamond valuation deal gone sour.

29 April 2021 | Local News

STAFF REPORTER



WINDHOEK

An Israeli-owned diamond firm currently valuating Namdia diamonds has threatened to sue this publication over an article published earlier this month.

On 14 April, Namibian Sun reported that a fallout between C-Sixty Investments and its technical agent, Nuska Technologies, last year led to the company nearly being stripped of its lucrative multimillion-dollar contract by government, before the same agent bought out the local partners to secure the contract for himself.

C-Sixty, which belonged to businessmen John Walenga and Tironnen Kauluma at the time, had Nuska as its technical partner for a job to evaluate diamonds for state-owned Namdia.

Nuska, run by Israeli national Doron Cohen, has since been accused of going behind C-Sixty’s back by approaching mines minister Tom Alweendo with a proposal to take over the diamond valuation contract.

Following the publication of the article titled ‘Israeli dribbles C-Sixty in diamond deal’, Nuska’s lawyers Kangueehi & Kavendjii Incorporated threatened to sue Namibian Sun over the report.

According to the lawyers, Cohen never went behind C-Sixty’s back to take over the contract. They, however, did not deny that he submitted a proposal to the ministry.

Retract – or else

The lawyers further stated in their demand letter - dated 20 April 2021 - that the article implies that Cohen is greedy, corrupt and inappropriately landed the valuation contract.

They also feel the article created the impression that Cohen conspired with certain people in the mines ministry to take over the valuation contract.

“It is our firm and unequivocal instructions to - on an urgent basis - demand that you publish an unconditional apology and retraction before close of business on 21 April 2021, failing which we shall bring legal action against the Namibian Sun newspaper without further notice,” the letter further read.

Namibian Sun editor Toivo Ndjebela responded to the demand letter saying “we will not retract our story or apologise to him”.

“If Mr Cohen has alternative facts to what we have published - the very facts we sought from him for three months - we guarantee him his right of reply in our newspaper,” Ndjebela said.

Deal suspended

The controversial diamond valuation arrangement - to which former mines minister Obeth Kandjoze committed government - will no longer be needed when it runs out in September, Namibian Sun has learnt.

Alweendo earlier this month made it clear that his ministry will not be needing such services any more, and this is said to be a tactic to reduce the ministry’s expenditure.

According to the details of the current deal, the ministry is responsible to pay C-Sixty’s valuation costs, the company which was handpicked in 2016 to conduct the services for five years.

It is still not clear why Kandjoze sanctioned the ministry to foot the bill instead of Namdia. He did not reply to questions sent to him.

Kandjoze’s successor was seemingly not happy with the arrangement when he took over the ministry in 2018.

Alweendo last year notified C-Sixty that the contract would be discontinued.

He told Namibian Sun two weeks ago that “the ministry will not need such services”.

His Cabinet colleague, public enterprise minister Leon Jooste, said Namdia will have to put the contract out on tender if they wish to continue using external valuators.

“At this stage, Namdia feels that they won’t need this any further,” Jooste said.

Similar News

 

Swapo joins Rehoboth leadership scuffle

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKSwapo councillors at the Rehoboth town council, Mara Beukes and Jacky Khariseb, are opposed to planned disciplinary proceedings against the...

Kavango East diverts funds to assist disaster victims

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe RUNDU The Kavango East regional council has decided to use funds for mini-independence celebrations in each constituency to assist...

Windhoek pushes for increased revenue

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe City of Windhoek has set the ambitious target of raising its revenue to at least N$25 billion by 2025 and is banking on...

Ongwediva fires road contractor

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Local News

TUNOHOLE MUNGOBAONGWEDIVAThe Ongwediva town council has terminated a N$6.3 million contract with Neu Olulya Trading because of non-performance.The contractor had been awarded a tender to...

Nathanael accepts daunting Rundu challenge

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Local News

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUThe new Rundu town council CEO, Olavi Nathanael, says getting the council's affairs in order will not be easy, as the local authority has...

Shangula a popile omuti gwaIndia gwoCovishield

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKESOVENDUKAØ Omagongalo gopamwe taga pewa uusamaPahapu dhaMinista Kalumbi Shangula onkalo yaIndia kayi na sha nomulandu gwetuntilo omolwa ombuto ndjoka ihe oya etithwa...

Kwa lopotwa omakwatonkonga mehuliloshiwike lya piti

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Local News

OMUTOOLINKUNDANA GWOMENIOVENDUKAOkwa lopotwa iipotha yiimbuluma oyindji mehuliloshiwike lya piti, mwakwatelwa iipotha yomakwatonkonga moka mwa lopotwa onkambadhala yekwatonkonga lyokanona komvula yimwe oshowo ekwatonkonga lyokanona koomvula...

Govts reminded of obligations towards journalism

2 days ago - 05 May 2021 | Local News

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKGovernments – some of whom are hiding behind the blanket cover of Covid-19 to stifle the work of journalists –...

Rehoboth mayor demands financial statements

2 days ago - 05 May 2021 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKRehoboth mayor Rudie van Wyk has questioned why the town council...

Angolan refugees refuse to leave Osire

4 days ago - 03 May 2021 | Local News

JANA-MARI SMITH WINDHOEK A group of 538 Angolan nationals living at Osire refugee camp are at legal loggerheads with the Namibian government,...

Latest News

Copper hits US$10 000/t

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Business

Copper prices yesterday surpassed the key psychological level of US$10 000 a tonne on hopes for further global economic recovery, but trading volume was tepid...

Trade surplus with China contracts

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – China remained Namibia’s biggest export destination in March, but unlike a year ago, the destination clinched the top position because of re-exports...

Govt ‘forced’ NTB into Kora...

1 day - 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)...

N$278m payment for Air Namibia...

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Transport

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKGovernment has paid part of N$278 million reserved for ex-gratia payments to...

Africa Briefs

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Economics

Zim inflation to fall to 55%Zimbabwe's central bank said it expects annual inflation to further decline and reach a low of 55% by July.The bank...

Kora exposing political rot

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Opinion

The ongoing Kora trial is not just a civil matter between two parties contesting contractual interpretations and millions of dollars lost.Preliminary evidence points to a...

Pappa Chef winners announced

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Business

Yochanaan Coetzee - The exciting Channel 7 and Checkers Pappa Chef competition is in full swing, with ten excited winners each walking away with N$1...

'Open Namibia-Angola border'

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Economics

The continued closure of the Namibia-Angola border due to measures put in place to combat Covid-19 obstructs the legal free movement of people and goods...

No corruption at fisheries –...

1 day - 06 May 2021 | Ministries

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKNew fisheries minister Derek Klazen says the ministry is not plagued with corruption, contrary to public opinion.He made the comment...

Load More