JSC probes Kora saga

24 October 2019 | Justice

Chief Justice Peter Shivute has confirmed that the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) is trying to establish why the Kora Awards court case was recently marked as “in camera” and documents relating to the case were removed from the e-justice portal.

This follows a meeting that was held by the JSC on Monday to discuss growing calls for an investigation into the matter.

The meeting was called by Shivute, who is the chairman of the JSC.

Shivute's special assistant and chief legal officer, Sebastiaan Kandunda, confirmed that the JCS was trying to establish the facts.

Among the documents that were removed from the e-justice portal was an explosive affidavit in which Kora founder Ernest Adjovi placed President Hage Geingob at the centre of the deal to bring the awards show to Namibia.

The event never materialised, while the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) had paid N$23 million for a promotion package.

President Geingob recently confirmed to Namibian Sun that he supported holding the awards ceremony in Namibia, but denied having acted in a manner that resulted in the loss of public funds in the matter. Meanwhile businessman Tonata Shiimi, who was the national director of the awards, has denied that he was instructed by Geingob to work with Adjovi to host the show in Namibia. The Kora matter is serving before the High Court in Windhoek and is between NTB and Mundial Telecom Sarl, which owns the rights to host the Kora awards, while Adjovi acted as the president of the company.

The matter has been postponed to 18 November for setting a trial date.

The court case stems from a written agreement that the NTB concluded with Mundial Telecom on 4 December 2015. Videos promoting Namibia as a tourist destination were supposed to have been televised during the All-Africa Kora Music Awards show that was scheduled to be held in Namibia on 20 March 2016. The ceremony was initially scheduled for 13 December 2015, but was postponed.

In terms of the contract the NTB had to pay the N$23.5 million on or before 10 December 2015.

The first payment of N$5 million was only made on 22 December 2015 and a second payment of another N$5 million was made on 23 December 2015. On 7 January 2016 another N$5 million was transferred and on 17 February 2016 N$8.5 million was transferred. The money was paid into the bank account of Mundial Telecom in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The promised promotional material was supposed to be aired by all participating African countries' television stations by at least 20 January 2016.

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ELLANIE SMIT

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