Lüderitz Councillors Suspended

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By Wezi Tjaronda WINDHOEK Six Swapo Party councillors of the LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz Town Council have been suspended with effect from Tuesday, May 9. The suspension comes in the wake of the swearing-in ceremony of the councillors for the management committee due to take place next week on May 15. The six are the incumbent mayor George Shimaneni, his deputy Emilia Amupewa, the Chairperson of the Management Committee Simon Haindongo, his vice Yeta Sylvester, management committee member Terschah Mafale and ordinary member Johannes Valombola. A letter from the LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz District Swapo Coordinator, Erick Endjala to the councillors said the decision to suspend them was made during a special Swapo District Committee meeting on Tuesday. He said the meeting resolved to suspend them as Swapo serving councillors with immediate effect until further notice pending investigations. The suspended officials have been barred from participating in any activity of the LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz Town Council activities on behalf of the party, Endjala said in the letter. The council is composed of six Swapo and one DTA councillor, Jennifer van der Heever, who does not hold any position on the management committee. Endjala yesterday declined to comment on the reasons for the suspension of the six, saying it remained an internal matter until the investigations were finalised. “I cannot reveal the reasons for their suspension. There are things we are investigating,” he added. A source close to the council however said Endjala had ordered the suspension of the six apparently for being “disrespectful to the leadership”. “They fail to consult on issues that need input from the party,” said the source that felt that there could be more than meets the eye for all the councillors to be suspended. The irony is that Endjala was also suspended as district coordinator in 2004, apparently to pave way for the “ruling elite” at the coastal town and was temporarily replaced by Shimaneni who was appointed to run the affairs of the party during his suspension. At the time, Endjala was suspended following “an investigation from the party head office”.