NaCC warns Dr. Weder, Kauta & Hoveka Inc against interference

NaCC warns Dr. Weder, Kauta & Hoveka Inc against interference Asylum Design & Development

The Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) has warned prominent lawyers, Dr. Weder, Kauta & Hoveka Inc. (WHK) against interfering with witnesses.

This was after the top law firm had directly demanded proof from Jacob Amupolo Lawyers and Conveyancers regarding a complaint laid with the Commission.

“It has come to the Namibian Competition Commission’s attention that Dr. Weder, Kauta & Hoveka Incorporated (“WKH”) has addressed a correspondence to the complainant in which it demanded of him to provide them with evidence in support of the allegations leveled against WKH. The Commission has to this effect, taken serious exception of the conduct and addressed correspondence to WKH in which it cautioned WKH to cease and desist from directly engaging in correspondence with the complainant in so far as this matter is concerned,” NaCC Spokesperson Dina  //Gowases said in response to an inquiry from The Brief.

She said the actions of WHK could compromise its investigation into alleged exclusive dealings in property conveyance services between the law firm and Bank Windhoek.

“The Commission strongly discourages the practise whereby parties subject to investigations directly engage and intimidate Complainants as this may compromise investigations and the ability of the public to freely lay complaints with the Commission. The Commission records that the Complainant in this matter did not wish to remain anonymous, nevertheless, the Competition Act provides for members of the public to report anticompetitive practices anonymously,” //Gowases said.

Dr. Weder, Kauta & Hoveka Inc recently came under probe for allegedly entering into an Exclusive agreement with the Bank Windhoek as sole conveyancing attorneys for properties financed through Bank Windhoek.

The agreement between the two is alleged to be excluding other conveyancing service providers from offering services to Bank Windhoek property financing applicants, limiting competition.

//Gowases further indicated that the Commission is empowered by the law to investigate any anti-competitive behavior even if the complainant withdraws their complaint.

“The Namibian Competition Commission wishes to record that decisions to initiate any investigation are made within the confines of the Competition Act as contemplated by section 33. The right to investigate allegations of anti-competitive conduct is in terms of section 33, given to the Commission, and not to the Complainants concerned in any matter. The Commission is in any event, empowered by the same section to initiate investigations into anti-competitive conducts on its own motion. It therefore follows that even if a Complainant withdraws his/her complaint as a result of whatever form of intimidation or threats levelled against them, the Commission remains duty bound to investigate the same,” she said.

“There is, therefore, no basis for Respondents to engage with Complainants in matters under investigation. The Complainant in this matter has been advised not to directly engage WKH as the matter is now in the hands of the Namibian Competition Commission.”

//Gowases said, “parties subject to the Commission’s investigations may at any time, during or after the investigation, approach the Commission with proposals to amicably resolve the matter in accordance with the relevant provisions of its enabling legislation, being the Competition Act 2 of 2003.”

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Last modified on Monday, 23 May 2022 18:06

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