The chief executive officer of the Grootfontein Municipality, Charles Kariko, has returned to work after his suspension was lifted with immediate effect last week on Tuesday. This follows the Otjozondjupa regional governor Otto Ipinge ordering the town council to re-instate the CEO as there was no case.
Kariko was suspended in early 2013 over alleged sexual harassment charges instituted against him by the council. It was alleged Kariko made several sexual advances and remarks towards a female council employee Caroline Engelbrecht at the beginning of 2013. Engelbrecht joined the Grootfontein Municipality in January 2013 as Kariko’s personal assistant but she no longer works at the municipality.
She reported Kariko’s alleged unbecoming behaviour to the council in April 2013 which led to his suspension.
Kariko denied the allegations but the council soon after suspended him with full pay and benefits to pave way for an unhindered internal investigation by the council.
In an interview with New Era on Friday the public relations officer at the municipality Luke Salomo said: “Kariko is expected to resume his duties on Monday as no evidence has been found that can prove he was guilty in the sex scam.”
He added: “We have concluded that there isn’t really a case and a special council meeting will take place later today whereafter a letter will be drafted to inform the CEO.”
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Grootfontein Town Council’s management committee, Johan Spangenberg, verbally resigned on Tuesday after a meeting with Otto Ipinge.
Impeccable sources say Spangenberg was against the decision to re-instate the CEO.
Grootfontein mayor Emma Takuheke and CEO Kariko’s mobile phones went unanswered at the time of going to print.