Katiti didn’t honour dealBy: DENVER KISTING
BY YESTERDAY, former Walvis Bay chief executive officer Augustinus Katiti still owed estate agent Regina Kotchanova and her husband N$500 000, she testified in the High Court.
According to Kotchanova, Katiti bought an estate agency from them and it was agreed that ownership of the enterprise would be transferred once the final payment had been made.
However, while N$700 000 was still outstanding, Katiti took possession of equipment belonging to the business, she told Acting Judge Petrus Unengu.
This prompted her to lay a complaint of theft at the police because he had “removed it without payment”. She added: “He did not pay the full amount and removed our equipment without our permission. Then I urged them (the police) to investigate the case so that we can at least retrieve our property.”
The Prosecutor General eventually decided not to prosecute Katiti because of a lack of evidence, the court was told.
Meanwhile, Kotchanova and her husband also instituted civil claims against Katiti for the alleged debt.
A settlement was reached for N$500 000, the estate agent testified.
However, they have still not seen a penny, she said.
Following the theft complaint, the Afrikaans daily, Republikein, ran an article which The Namibian followed up under the headline: ‘Katiti charged with theft’.
This headline irked Katiti to such an extent that he is suing The Namibian, The Free Press of Namibia, which owns the newspaper, Gwen Lister, the former editor, Swakopmund-based journalist Adam Hartman and Kotchanova for alleged defamation.
He is demanding N$300 000.
During cross-examination Phillip Barnard, for Katiti, told Kotchanova that the sales agreement had been between Katiti and her husband.
As a result, her evidence is hearsay and cannot be admitted as evidence in court.
Her husband currently is in Russia.
She denied an assertion by Barnard that her evidence was false. “I believe what I testified is the truth.
On Wednesday, Hartman said he only met Katiti in passing.
As a result, he did not harbour a grudge against Katiti when he wrote a range of newspaper articles about Katiti in 2007 – one of which is now the centre of the defamation case.
In all stories he writes, he tries to be as objective as possible, Hartman told Acting Judge Unengu.
In the defamation claim Katiti is represented by Barnard, on instructions from Alwyn Harmse, from the law firm Fisher, Quarmby & Pfeifer. The Namibian, Lister and Hartman are represented by Andrew Corbett, on instructions from Michael Böttger of the law firm LorentzAngula Inc.
Kotchanova, who is appearing on her own behalf, is expected to testify today.