- IAS fails to pay catering company
- IAS aircraft up for auction
- Seduke questioned by tax authorities
Gaborone High Court Judge Justice Motswagole has ordered the auction of assets belonging to troubled International Aviation Solutions-Aviation (IAS). The judgement arises as a result of IAS’s failure to pay over P125 000 for unlawfully terminating a contract with one of its contractors.
IAS Director Thatayaone Seduke, a businessman connected to former DIS boss Isaac Kgosi through Defence Concepts, a company that directly benefited from multimillion projects within the intelligence sector.
According to court documents in possession of this publication, Whispers Cafe and IAS entered into an agreement for provision of catering services at the aviation school in 2016. The catering company charged a sum of P80.00 per student, per day for every meal. On January 17, 2018, IAS issued Whispers Cafe a letter, terminating the catering contract due to their failure to rectify and accommodate their requests as to the type of food served to students. Whispers Cafe through their attorneys Motsumi Attorneys argued that the contract included a clause that made it clear that either party intending to terminate the agreement would give the other a 90 days written notice, which Whispers Cafe says IAS did not do.
“The Defendant (IAS) unlawfully terminated its agreement with the Plaintiff. The Defendant failed to give the requisite ninety (90) days notice period for termination. The Defendant has failed to pay the Plaintiff for services rendered up to the date of unlawful termination,” states the Whispers Café’s Particulars of Claim.
The catering company goes on to claim that on April 18, Whispers Cafe through their attorneys issued a demand for payment of over P200 000, which IAS acknowledged the indebtedness of the sum demanded.
“On or about 18th of April 2018 the Plaintiff through its Attorneys issued a written demand for payment in the sum of P225. 347.99 (Two Hundred And Twenty Five Thousand Three Hundred And Forty Seven Pula And Ninety Thebe). The Defendant responded to the letter and acknowledged its indebtedness in the sum demanded.
On or about the May 2nd, 2018 the IAS made a part payment in the sum of P100 000 (One Hundred Thousand Pula), leaving a balance 125 347.99 (One Hundred And Twenty Five Thousand Three Hundred And Forty Seven Pula And Ninety -Nine Thebe).
Motsumi alleged that the Defendant is therefore indebted to the Plaintiff in the sum of P125 347.99 (One Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Three Hundred And Forty Seven And Ninety-Nine Thebe). Despite demand the Defendant has failed and /or refused to pay the Plaintiff the amount owing,” further states the court papers.
Responding to the legal suit in a letter dated 23rd April, IAS through their Group Legal Advisor Boitumelo William said the school was faced with financial hardships due to several issues, that included delayed payments from Government.
“We recently came into financial hardship due to many issues, such as delayed payments from Government. And had difficulty with making full payment for most of our operational issues, your client (Whispers Cafe) included. Be that as it may, we did our best to communicate in advance with all suppliers and service providers. Further, we would even assist and /or mitigate the inconvenience caused by the delays in payments by assisting with a few pulas we have. Further, we communicated with your client about the delays we have been having concerning payments,” reads the school’s legal advisor’s response.
“We wish to state that we have not refused to make payments as alleged; however we shall endeavor to make payment once we get paid by our clients. We propose to pay off the debt in two equal installments of P112 674 (One Hundred and Twelve Thousand Six Hundred and Seventy Four Pula). We are contacting you in good faith so as to demonstrate our intentions of paying this debt and hope that both of us can reach an amicable,” stated the IAS response.
On August 21 the Registrar of the High Court issued a default judgment that ordered that property belonging IAS be attached and put up for public auction.
“You are hereby Directed to attach and take into execution movable property of the above mentioned Defendant and of the same to be realised by public auction the sum of P125 347.99 (One Hundred And Twenty Five Thousand Three Hundred And Forty Seven And Ninety-Nine Thebe), together with interest at 10% tempore moae all which the Plaintiff recovered by Judgment of this Court dated 21 August 2018 in the above mentioned case and also all order costs and charges of the Plaintiff incurred,” reads the Writ of Execution issued by the High Court.
This publication is in possession of notice of sale- execution, in which one of the school’s aircraft, a Piper Aircraft valued between USSD 20 000 – USSD75 000 (Approximately P200 000 – P750 000) will be on public auction on November 23 at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport
Meanwhile, investigations by Botswana Gazette have revealed that the IAS Director Thatayaone Seduke and his companies were questioned by tax authorities over suspicious tax related transactions.