Kora court submissions deadline set for August

A High Court judge has ordered that the Namibian Tourism Board and Mundial Telecom Sarl must file their heads of argument before the end of August.

10 June 2021 | Justice

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

Closing submissions will be made on 31 August in the legal battle over millions of dollars lost in the cancelled Kora Music Awards event.

The matter between the Namibian Tourism Board (NTB) and Mundial Telecom Sarl had been before the High Court for several years before finally going to trial at the end of April this year.

At the latest status hearing, Judge Herman Oosthuizen ordered that NTB must file its heads of argument by 2 July and Mundial theirs by 6 August.

NTB may then file replying heads of argument by 20 August, after which closing submissions will be heard on 31 August.

The matter dates back to September 2016 when the NTB first sued Mundial Telecom Sarl, Kora awards founder Ernest Adjovi and local organiser Tonata Shiimi for N$23.5 million (plus 20% interest), which it had paid for an advertising package which was never broadcast.

Mundial Telecom owns the rights to host the Kora Awards while Adjovi was the president of the company and Shiimi was the national director of the awards.

Mundial Telecom had decided to host the Kora Awards ceremony in Namibia on 20 March 2016.

NTB CEO Digu //Naobeb is the only witness to have testified in the case so far.

The court has denied an application by Adjovi to testify via Zoom videoconferencing.

THE FACTS

During the trial it came to light that the Namibian government, through the tourism ministry, had entered into a US$6 million agreement with Mundial Telecom Sarl to hold the Kora Music Awards in Namibia, which clearly stipulated that US$2 million must be paid to the company by 11 December 2015.

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

This agreement was signed on 8 November 2015, only a week before an offer was made to the Namibian Tourism Board (NTB) to buy a US$2 million promotional package from Mundial as part of the Kora Awards. NTB negotiated it down to US$1.5 million.

//Naobeb argued there was no link between the two agreements.

The advertising deal between NTB and Mundial, signed on 4 December 2015, stipulated that the payment of US$1.5 million should be made by 10 December 2015.

The first payment of N$5 million was made on 22 December and on 17 February the last payment of N$8.5 million was transferred.

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