11 Jul 2017 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 11 JUL (NAMPA) Following a High Court ruling to provisionally liquidate the beleaguered SME Bank, the Master of the High Court has moved swiftly to appoint provisional liquidators, Ian McLaren and David Bruni, to handle the bank's affairs until September 2017.
The High Court on Tuesday made a provisional order for the liquidation of the loss-making Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Bank.
Judge Hannellie Prinsloo said she was satisfied that the Bank of Namibia (BoN) in its urgent application made a strong case against the troubled SME Bank in respect of liquidation.
The High Court ruling also effectively means that the operations of the SME Bank shall be under the management of provisional liquidators.
Consequent to the court ruling, the BoN announced in a statement that McLaren and Bruni were appointed by the Master of the High Court to manage the affairs of the SME Bank in the interim, until a final order is issued.
The BoN has called for cooperation from all parties involved.
In her judgement, Judge Prinsloo said the SME Bank should be placed under provisional sequestration with no further delays.
The court also ordered the lawyers representing the SME Bank and its minority shareholders to indicate in writing before or on 15 September 2017 why a final order for the complete liquidation of the loss-making SME Bank should not be made or granted by the court.
The SME Bank lawyers should also indicate in writing before or on the same date why the legal costs of the BoNs urgent application should not be made against them.
The BoN, in April 2017, dis-empowered six executives and directors of the SME Bank and took charge of it operations following the discovery of what appeared to be unsound investments of close to N.dollars 200 million, allegedly made in South Africa.
The six are Chief Executive Officer, Tawanda Mumvuma; Finance Manager, Joseph Banda; General Manager of Treasury and Investments, Alec Gore; Chairperson of the Board, George Simataa; Vice-Chairperson, Enock Kamushinda and Ordinary Director, Ozias Bvute.
The Namibian government has pumped about N.dollars 477 million into the SME Bank since its establishment in 2013.
The 2017/18 National Budget includes a proposed allocation of N.dollars 15 million but Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein last month called for the complete closure of the bank.