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Finance takes insurers to Supreme Court


WINDHOEK, 04 DEC – The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has lodged an urgent appeal with the Supreme Court against an order made by the High Court that relates to the setting up of a new reinsurance system in Namibia.

High Court Judge Thomas Masuku on 20 September 2018 dismissed an urgent application in which the MoF and the state-owned reinsurance company, NamibRe, took eight insurance companies to court over their refusal to comply with the new system.

The new reinsurance system limits the outflow of reinsurance premiums from Namibia to N$1 billion per annum with effect from 30 June 2018, and that reinsurance by insurance companies be effected with Namibia Reinsurance Cooperation Limited (NamibRe).

Six of the eight companies agreed to honour the new reinsurance system while the court battle continues. The battle includes a revival of the constitutional challenge by a number of insurers to the Reinsurance Act, which was dismissed by a full bench of the High Court in 2000.

Hollard Insurance Company of Namibia and Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Namibia refused to comply with the new system on 30 June, which was the last day of the notice period before it came into operation.
This resulted in the application by the ministry to require the two companies to comply.

Masuku, however, granted an order to suspend the operation of the Act of Parliament for at least two years.
Minister of Finance, Calle Shlettwein was quoted in the statement as saying it is very important issues.
“These include whether, or if so, when a court has the power simply to suspend an Act of Parliament,” said Shlettwein.

He noted that the final effect of the order will see an outflow of over N$2 billion from Namibia which the new system seeks to limit. – NAMPA