WINDHOEK – The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has given the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) an ultimatum to produce proof of its acting CEO Dr Pieter Oosthuizen’s qualifications and authenticity of his work permit.
Oosthuizen is also the chairman of the TransNamib board of directors. He was appointed to that position by former works and transport minister Erkki Nghimtina last year.
Nghimtina is the new minister of labour.
New Era understands that the RCC has until today to comply with the ACC’s request, or the anti-corruption body will weigh alternatives on how to deal with the matter going forward.
The qualifications of Oosthuizen – a South African national – have been a subject of much debate in recent months, with allegations that the American university quoted on his CV was not in existence during the cited time of acquiring such qualifications.
Speaking to New Era from Swakopmund yesterday, ACC Director General Paulus Noa confirmed that the commission has requested for evidence of authenticity of Oosthuizen’s qualifications and work permit.
“We have served summons to the RCC’s human resources department to produce relevant documents regarding Dr Oosthuizen,” Noa said.
“We are also investigating claims that Cabinet did not approve his [Oosthuizen’s] appointment as chairperson of the TransNamib board.”
New Era understands that the ACC sought clarity on the matter from the State Owned Enterprise Governing Council (SOEGC), but no answers came forth.
Noa confirmed having written a letter in this regard to SOEGC Executive Director Frans Tsheehama, but said nothing came out of this attempt.
“I think he [Tsheehama] wrote a letter to his chairman but I’m not aware of any investigation by them into these allegations. We had no choice but to take up the matter ourselves because the responsible institutions are not acting on the matter,” a clearly agitated Noa said.
In their pursuit of the matter, the ACC also asked the ministry of home affairs to confirm the status of Oosthuizen in the country.
“We want Home Affairs to act. Someone in that ministry has to explain to us. The rules of the country have to be applied equally to everyone. We can’t turn this country into a banana republic,” Noa said.
The ACC is said to have been tipped off by a cabal supporting suspended TransNamib CEO Saara Naanda, sources close to the matter said.
Revelations of the ACC’s action coincided with the conclusion of an investigation by audit firm Ernst & Young into the alleged conducts of Naanda, which led to her suspension last year.
New Era understands that Naanda was served with the findings of Ernst & Young on Monday, and is expected to respond to each of the allegations made against her.
“The findings are of a serious nature and mostly involve third party dealings,” an official said.
Oosthuizen was headhunted by RCC more than three years ago to head the engineering department of the State-owned company.
Nghimtina’s appointment of Oosthuizen as chairman of the TransNamib board of directors was based mostly on his experience and supposed qualifications.
Oosthuizen has always maintained that his qualifications were authentic – but sources say he now has until today to prove his case to the ACC.
Supporters of Oosthuizen believe the South African is being targeted for being foreign and white. His troubles started after the TransNamib board suspended Naanda last year, with the Swapo Party Youth League particularly taking a strong stand against the suspension.
Naanda yesterday referred all enquiries to her lawyer Richard Metcalfe. However, Metcalfe did not respond to New Era questions by the time of going to print last night.