Witvlei to pursue the legal route

December 4, 2015, 12:55pm

The Villager Newspaper

The Chairman of Witvlei Meat, Sydney Martin will keep faith in the legal process in a bid to deal with the tiff with Agribank over fulfillment of an agreement to transfer ownership of the Witvlei Abbatoir to Witvlei Meat.

Martin responded to the media reports through a press conference at his offices this morning.

He argued that parts of the recent statements by Agribank were untrue and further stated facts surrounding the fulfillment of an agreement to transfer ownership of the Witvlei Abbatoir to Witvlei Meat.

Agribank argued that the purchase agreement, which was supposed to transfer ownership of the Abbatoir to Witvlei Meat after the Bank had leased the Abbatoir to the company since 2006, was breached because of Witlvei’s non-performance in securing the agreement.

Agribank had said that Witvlei Meat had failed to provide acceptable guarantees within the agreed 21 days from the date of the signature, thus the agreement lapsed on 26 June 2015.

Martin, at a press conference this morning, provided evidence that Witvlei’s relationship with Agribank has been proactive and the guarantees were signed and paid on time.

“The agreement stated that guarantees were to be provided within 21 days from signature. A Trust guarantee was provided in time. It was never a condition of this agreement that a ‘Bank’ Guarantee should be provided, however, as it became known that Agribank required a ‘Bank’ Guarantee we provided such, see attachment D, but only after Agribank took the Law in their own hands and forcefully removed Witvlei Meat from the property on the 5th August 2015” Martin said.

Martin stressed that Agribank did not have the means nor the capability to determine whether a trust was risky, thus Agribank did not have the jurisdiction to not accept the trust. Martin also said that Bank Windhoek took the same guarantee and made the agreement.

Martin presented checks that Witvlei Meat had paid in advance to rent the Abbatoir from Agribank. Thus, Agribank has to pay the amount worth 1.5 million back to Witveli.

Martin said that Witleiv will follow the state’s legal process in terms of dealing with the situation.

“Spolation application in the High Court, not mentioned by Agribank will be heard in February 2016. I have no doubt that we will have success once again- even if we only achieve success through Appeal in the Supreme Court once again. Agribank will then have to restore Witvlei’s possession of the property,” he said.

He continued, “The title deed says Agribank, while the Highest Court in the Land’s ruling says Witvlei Meat. Are we ruled by Agribank or does Rule of Law apply?”

Also, since shareholders have invested in the company, if Agribank sells the Abbatoir, they will be taking it away from different shareholders, who own the company. Plus, he adds that it would be negative for the country and, “Defeats the purpose of attract foreign investors and for local investors to invest in the company.”

With the government highly likely allocating the quota of exports to the Norwegian market to the Witvlei Abbatoir, the issue of ownership will continue. However, should the facility not be able to meet the strenuous requirements to export, then the Government will revoke the issuing of the quota, thus find an alternative source.