SSC’s Green Appeals Dismissal

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek The former General Manager of Finance and Administration at the Social Security Commission (SSC), Avril Green, has appealed the decision by the disciplinary hearing to dismiss him. Green’s legal representative Richard Metcalfe in his appeal to the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the SSC is demanding for the Chairperson of the Disciplinary Hearing Nate Ndauendapo to be recused from the hearing. Metcalfe claims that the disciplinary hearing cannot be perceived to have been fair and his client is invoking his constitutional right to administrative fairness under Article 18 of the Constitution. Metcalfe has made an application to the SSC for Ndauendapo to be recused. The lawyer says that the disciplinary hearing proceeded in a stop-start fashion occasioned legally by the witnesses for the SSC and the disappearance of crucial documents for the defence. “Such documents disappeared miraculously on almost every occasion when they were requested.” Metcalfe alleges that a request for documentation was usually met with an adjournment, and consequent consultation between the initiator of the case Norman Tjombe and SSC legal manager Enid Keramen. “A lengthy delay and then a report back that the required document, and in one instance a tape recording, had inexplicably disappeared and this of course prejudiced Green’s defence.” In his application Metcalfe further claims that he is fully convinced that Ndauendapo has been biased against Green after he overheard a conversation between Tjombe and Ndauendapo in a toilet. According to Metcalfe, Tjombe complained to Ndauendapo that the hearing was unnecessarily taking long. In his reply Ndauendapo allegedly said: “Yes, I do not know where they are going with their questions but I have started writing the judgment.” Metcalfe confronted Tjombe directly on whether he had been discussing Green’s matter with Ndauendapo, but Tjombe informed him that they were discussing the disciplinary matter against NBC’s Ruben Prinz. Metcalfe further notes that he has discovered that Ndauendapo featured nowhere on the record in the Prinz/NBC Disciplinary Hearing and strongly believes that the conversation in the toilet concerned Green’s hearing. Metcalfe also questioned why the SSC paid Tjombe if he earlier indicated that he was doing it for the Legal Assistance Centre. “It appears that Tjombe has been less than frank and earnest with the assurances that he was doing this disciplinary matter as a matter of public interest on behalf of the Legal Assistance Centre.” Metcalfe said he was surprised that Tjombe was paid N$139 525, while at the outset of the proceedings an enquiry was made how the LAC was involved in the disciplinary hearing. Metcalfe claims that Tjombe said that “the matter was of public interest and that no costs would be incurred by the taxpayers”. Metcalfe noted that Tjombe’s assurance of his and the LAC’s dedication to the public interest was admired. Contacted for comment earlier, Tjombe refuted claims that he was doing the work for the LAC. “I was at the disciplinary hearing in my private capacity and I have put in leave to attend to this matter.” However, Tjombe acknowledged that Metcalfe confronted him about his conversation with Ndauendapo in the toilet, but Tjombe still maintains that the conversation was about the NBC/Prinz disciplinary hearing. Tjombe said he has never and will never discuss a pending case, as it is unprofessional and unethical. “We discussed this matter with Metcalfe in January and I do not know why he is bringing it up again. I am really disappointed.”