Justice ministry dismisses nepotism claims

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Windhoek

The Ministry of Justice has dismissed claims of nepotism regarding the allocation of jobs at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.

Interpreters at the court informed New Era that the minimum requirement to be employed as an interpreter or a legal clerk is Grade 12 with 20 points and a minimum E symbol in English. The requirement was decided by the Public Service Commission (PSC) after regrading.

Casual clerks who did not possess the minimum requirements could not be shortlisted for interviews for temporary posts of legal clerks and their services were terminated on June 30.

However, interpreters claim that after the regrading the chief clerk appointed relatives, who were allegedly squeezed into interviews to become interpreters, while some that have been there for several years were overlooked.

“The positions of temporary legal clerks and for interpreters were advertised in an internal circular, which was sent to all magistrate offices countrywide and casual employees were encouraged to apply. The applicants were shortlisted and interviewed, thereafter successful candidates were appointed irrespective of any blood relations to any staff member in the Ministry of Justice,” said Simon Tangeni Idipo, the senior spokesperson for the ministry.

Idipo added: “The ministry is not aware of any nepotism going on at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court or any other department of the ministry. If there are such allegations of nepotism we urge the public or anyone with such information to report it to the office of the permanent secretary or the Anti-Corruption Commission for investigations to be launched.”

He continued: “It is regrettable that if an applicant does not meet the minimum requirement the Ministry of Justice does not have any other process available to accommodate those who do not qualify. We are also subjected to the Public Service Act, rules and regulations which we must comply with, without deviation.”

Furthermore, in an anticipation of new requirements the minsitry took a conscious effort to encourage those who do not have the required educational qualifications to upgrade themselves.

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