AN appeal by then finance Minister Calle Schlettwein and the state owned reinsurance company, Namibia National Reinsurance Corporation (NamibRe), was dismissed with costs by the Supreme Court this morning.
The finance minister and NamibRe approached the court to appeal against an order that ruled in favour of insurance companies that refuse to comply with the new NamibRe Act.
The new Act compels the companies, Hollard Insurance Company of Namibia, Hollard Life Namibia, Sanlam Namibia, Santam Namibia, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company of Namibia, Outsurance Insurance Company of Namibia, Trustco Insurance and Trustco Life and their CEOs to enter into business with NamibRe, instead of investing offshore.
Schlettwein argued at the time that government loses N$1 billion annually because of this.
High court Judge Thomas Masuku, before the matter was taken to the Supreme Court, dismissed Schlettwein and NamibRe’s application on the basis that two cases in which the insurance companies are challenging some provisions in the new Act were still pending.
Four other insurance companies, Momentum Short Term Insurance, King Price Insurance Company, Bonben Assurance Namibia, Bonlife, and Nedbank Life Assurance Company, have informed government that they would be complying with the measures.
The measures require the companies to concede 12,5% of each insurance contract with a value of more than N$100 000 in reinsurance to NamibRe, while 20% of the value of each reinsurance contract placed by registered insurers should also be surrendered to NamibRe.
The finance ministry’s legal team during initial proceedings argued that there are reasonable prospects that another court, the Supreme Court in that regard, would come to a different conclusion.
Today, a full bench consisting of Supreme Court Judges agreed with the high Court, saying that the judge who ruled in favour of the insurance companies did not misdirect himself.