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Air Namibia owes taxman N$700 million

2021-09-08  Edgar Brandt

Air Namibia owes taxman N$700 million

The liquidated Air Namibia owes the Receiver of Revenue a staggering N$700 million, while an inquiry into the formation and affairs of the former national airline is on the cards. 

During the second general meeting before the High Court of Namibia on 1 September of creditors and members of the now defunct national airline, it was resolved that the joint liquidators, Bruni & McLaren, are authorised to collect any outstanding debts due to Air Namibia, which is in the process of being liquidated. This means the liquidators may sell or compound any of these debts or to abandon any claims, which they deem irrecoverable. 

A statement from Bruni & McLaren showed the former national airline had accumulated about N$1.1 billion in assets while its liabilities totalled more than N$3.5 billion. 

These figures, which were attached to the Special Resolution to wind up the airline, also showed an estimate of N$700 million which the airline owes the Receiver of Revenue.

 “The vast amount apparently due to the Receiver of Revenue results from VAT (Value Added Tax) and PAYE (Pay As You Earn) payments being years in arrears,” read the statement from the joint liquidators. 

The statement continued that the joint liquidators “are hereby authorised to employ auditors to investigate and write up the books of the company to the date of liquidation and to produce an audited balance sheet as at that date, all costs incurred in relation thereto to be costs in the liquidation”.

Furthermore, the court also empowered Bruni & McLaren to engage the services of attorneys and counsel in connection with any matter arising out of or related to the affairs of Air Namibia. 

Moreover, the High Court authorised the liquidators to conduct an inquiry into the formation and affairs of Air Namibia and “to summons any persons who they should deem necessary, to be present at the inquiry”. 

The High Court further empowered the joint liquidators “to discharge and engage employees and to fix their remuneration; to continue any lease of Air Namibia premises until such time as it is decided to determine the lease; to employ persons to undertake the physical count and valuation of stock in trade at the beginning and end of any trading period subsequent to the date of liquidation of the company, and to employ persons to prepare an inventory or inventories of all movable assets of the company”.

Towards the end of August, public enterprises minister Leon Jooste confirmed in a statement that at the end of July this year, government paid N$1.6 billion to a United States-based company from which Air Namibia leased its aircraft. 

This amount included a termination fee for cancelling the lease agreement. Classifying the lease ending negotiations, which commenced in September last year, as “intense and extremely complicated”, Jooste noted that the Cabinet committee on treasury directed the negotiation process to be conducted by a committee led by the public enterprises’ ministry, supported by the finance ministry and office of the attorney general. 

2021-09-08  Edgar Brandt

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