* On the move: NCTec has appointed André Truter as Technical Manager and Keith Clarence as Marketing Manager...Judith Middleton, Marketing Manager of CITI is leaving to set up her own IT marketing consultancy... Jailed Tunisian ISP owner Zouhair has been released,
* The growth of cellphone services on the African continent could be slowed by infrastructure, regulatory, fee and fraud issues, says Vitalis Olunga, deputy chairman of GSM Africa. Opening the GSM In Africa conference in Cape Town last week, Olunga said cellular operators faced regulatory pressure to increase service licences and spectrum fees, increase taxation on airtime and attempt to apply rules that were designed for use in the west."As a result, operators are facing declining revenues as wholesale tariffs come under regulatory pressure and retail tariffs come under downward commercial pressure, while economic development in Africa continues at a low level," he said.
* A former Telecom Namibia manager who fled to South Africa two years ago after he was charged with fraud running into millions of dollars may lose his pension money. Lutchmanan Ivan Ganes, a former Procurement Manager at Telecom Namibia, has been trying to have some N$325 000 that is still held in his name in a Namibian pension fund scheme transferred to South Africa, the High Court was informed last week. His effort to have the money transferred was brought to a stop on Monday when Judge Nic Hannah granted an urgent order to Telecom.In terms of the order Napotel Pension Fund may not release the pension funds until a case in which Telecom Namibia is claiming N$4,238 million from Ganes has been finalised. Ganes has been a fugitive from justice in Namibia since mid-July 2001, when he stopped reporting to the Police once a week as was required of him in terms of the conditions that had been set when he was released on bail a month earlier.
In court papers that Telecom Namibia has now filed with the High Court in an effort to retrieve N$4,238 million from Ganes, it is for the first time being set out in detail how the fraud is claimed to have been committed. Also set out for the first time are claims that Ganes also received some N$4,05 million in bribes - or "secret profits" or "secret commission", as Telecom refers to it - between 1995 and early 2001 from various companies that were doing business with Telecom Namibia.
Telecom Namibia claims that these amounts included N$444 655 that Ganes received from Dresselhaus Transport, which was represented by Weakley at the time, N$1,5 million from Global Telecom (Pty) Ltd, N$1,653 million from Energy Procurement Services (Pty) Ltd, and N$455 955 from Telephone Manufacturers of South Africa (Pty) Ltd.The last amount, Telecom claims, was received by Ganes through a close corporation that he had started up, Lynco Telecommunications CC.The telecommunications parastatal is further claiming that Ganes under-invoiced Dresselhaus Scrap to the tune of some N$184 430 between March 2000 and February 2001. This was done by deliberately using wrong exchange rates and the wrong prevailing London Metals Exchange rates for scrap metals which Telecom Namibia was contracted to sell to Dresselhaus Transport, it is claimed.