Penduka Denies Defrauding NBC

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By Stanley Kwenda WINDHOEK Penduka, the defunct broadcasting licence fees-collecting agency, a subsidiary of the J and P Group, has broken its silence on alleged financial irregularities which led to the termination of its contract with NBC. Solomon Nemaire, the managing director of J and P Group, told New Era yesterday that there was no case of defrauding by NBC Penduka in its licence-collecting deal with the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation. “It is very difficult to explain it, but there was no case of fraud between us and the NBC. It was a mutual agreement, and it was also by mutual consent that we opted out of the contract,” said Nemaire. When asked why his company pulled out of the contract in a huff, Nemaire said they felt their relationship with NBC was taking its toll on the company’s other operations. He said: “We felt that the relationship was having a negative impact on our other business operations, hence we felt it was necessary not to pursue the Penduka NBC venture.” He added that there was no bad blood between his company and the NBC. “Everything was agreed upon and put in black and white. We just agreed to differ.” Penduka is accused of having failed NBC through a flawed collecting system, which saw the national broadcaster getting less in licence fees than what it previously used to get. The J and P Group boss accused the national broadcaster of not doing things the right way in previous years. “Their data base was incorrect and we were in the process of correcting the anomalies. There are many television sets out there which were not paying licences. We were just at the initial stage of this massive national project which has the potential to rake in money for the broadcaster, and NBC can build on what we had started,” said Nemaire. Meanwhile, the national broadcaster will soon embark on an ambitious restructuring programme which will see most of its operations being revamped. It is understood that negotiations are under way to hire professionals in different fields to help in the process.