• September 21st, 2020

GIPF Does About Face on Sacking KAT Directors

By Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro WINDHOEK The Directors of the Karas Abattoir and Tannery Processors (KAT), removed less than two weeks ago are to be reinstated. This follows the resignation of the two directors who replaced them on the board the same day they were removed, Brian Finlay and Tega Shiimi. New Era has reliably learnt that the trustees of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) met on Monday this week, where it transpired that the trustees never sanctioned the removal of KAT Chairperson, Risto Kapenda, or directors Vilho Ngipondoka and Maru Tjihumino. Kapenda has confirmed their reinstatement, adding that he has been contacted personally and an apology offered but that they have yet to receive the official letter of reinstatement from GIPF Chairperson, Hartmut Ruppel. He said he would know whether he would accept the reinstatement once he receives the letter and informs himself about its content. He said the letter of reinstatement should have reached him by Monday, wondering why it took so long compared to the one of removal, which they received the same day they were removed from the board. Kapenda viewed the bid to oust him from KAT board as part of a concerted campaign by "people who are experts in hunting down others". He said their reinstatement is a vindication and sign that they have done nothing wrong. The three KAT directors were removed on October 29 in a letter signed by Neville Field then acting as the GIPF's Chief Executive Officer, while purporting to have consulted Ruppel. However, it appears that Field was not acting legitimately in this capacity. Neither did he consult Ruppel who on Monday apparently distanced himself from the removal of the directors. Questions that New Era forwarded earlier to the GIPF as to who removed the KAT directors, in what capacity they were acting, as well as how, when and where the decision to remove the KAT directors was taken drew a blank from the GIPF. The GIPF is the majority shareholder in KAT with more than 50 percent shareholding. The three KAT directors were removed for apparently delaying the sale, partly or wholly, of KAT assets to Brukarros Meat Processors (BMP). The same day they were removed and were replaced by Finlay and Shiimi. The two then went ahead sealing the Sale Agreement. The three KAT directors were accused of delaying the signing of the Sale Agreement and subsequently removed despite their plea to the GIPF Chairman before their dismissal for the date of the sale of KAT to be adjusted by 30 days. They further pleaded that the February 2, 2008 become the effective date for the beginning of the transitional process instead of the November 2, 2007 as initially agreed. KAT directors pleaded with the GIPF's chairperson for more time to allow for a smooth and responsible hand-over process. Among the issues they raised with the GIPF chairperson was the need to consult with stakeholders, most notably Namco Holdings, with whom KAT has a 10-year agreement for the slaughter of animals of which only two years were implemented. The KAT directors also sought clarification on their indemnity against any claim that may ensue with the signing of the Sale Agreement. It was not clear by the time of going to press what the position of the Sale Agreement is in view of it having been signed by directors appointed after the unprocedural removal of the previous KAT directors. New Era has waited for three days now for comment from the GIPF on the latest developments within KAT. The GIPF maintains its seeming hasty sale of KAT assets to BMP became necessary because it needed to mitigate further losses the company has been incurring. However, New Era is reliably informed of powerful black economic empowerment elements behind BMP's bid. These elements in turn are believed to be strategically linked to the GIPF. Hence the GIPF's efforts to push through the deal as fast as it could. BMP's eagerness to buy KAT out is so far also unclear in view of the reported losses the venture has apparently been incurring.
New Era Reporter
2007-11-08 00:00:00 | 12 years ago

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