By Catherine Sasman
On Tuesday, Judge Collins Parker refused to preside over a case before the High Court to stop Insurance Company of Namibia Ltd (Inscon) from declaring itself bankrupt.
The applicant, Sheldon Heenen, was requested to set a date with the registrar of the High Court for a new date on which the matter can be heard.
Heenen, a former Inscon employee, challenges the application for liquidation by Inscon, claiming that the liquidation application is a misrepresentation of the Inscon assets and liabilities by judicial management.
Heenen was dismissed from Inscon in June 2004, and registered a case of unfair dismissal with the Windhoek District Labour Court.
While the matter was before the Labour Court, Inscon was placed under provisional curatorship for failing to comply with statutory solvency levels in April last year.
Heenen was reinstated in January this year, but retrenched in February with a retrenchment package of N$88 000. He, however, claims that Inscon still owes him close to N$2 million in outstanding salary payments.
He claimed that this amount – amongst others – was not reported as part of Inscon’s assets up for liquidation, and neither was an amount of N$6.3 million declared owed by Inscon to re-insurers.
He further claimed that a total of N$16.3 million in dividends had been paid out to Inscon’s directors and management. He said there is an amount of N$15 million in outstanding claims from clients.
Heenen said in the Labour Court that when he returned to Inscon in 2001, he found that Inscon had been heavily overcommitted by high-risk insurance, reinsured on the basis of ordinary insurance, such as insurance for pilots, marine insurance and underground miners.
He maintained that pilots had been taken off from the ordinary insurance and that reinsurance quotes were sought on the London market to safeguard Inscon.
Herman Davin of Aonre, a reinsurance broker who had made a forensic audit at Inscon agreed with this position.
Davin’s forensic audit reportedly showed, amongst others, that the Ongopolo Mine account was a “mess”, and that this was illustrative of the “fatal burden placed on Inscon by hostile brokers”.
Another witness in the labour matter of Heenen was Kallie Engelbrecht, also a broker, who had demanded quotes from Heenen within 24 hours for marine insurance governed by more than 600 marine clauses.
Engelbrecht had then purportedly threatened to take away business from Inscon if he did not get it in the 24-hour time frame.
Heenen claimed that the curator of Inscon concealed from the High Court “revelations” that Inscon was over-committed “due to the actions of brokers and companies in the insurance business”, further concealing his outstanding salary of three-and-a-half years, and another labour matter was also not reported.