Swakop council opts not to renew CEO’s contract

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Walvis Bay

The Swakopmund Municipality will not be renewing its chief executive officer’s employment contract, a decision taken at an extraordinary council meeting last week Thursday.

Ekhardt Demasius has been CEO of Swakopmund for about 24 years.
Municipal officials say the decision was made to comply with requirements of the Local Authority Act, which states that such a decision must be taken at least three months before the current contract lapses. Demasius’ contract expires on May 6.

The council did not yet confirm their decision, but Demasius himself said on Friday that the council opted not to renew his contract.

“I don’t have an existing contract,” he said.
Demasius is regarded as the longest serving municipal CEO in the country.

Officials said that the decision not to renew Demasius’ contract did not come easy as some of the councillors were in favour of another term.

Meanwhile, documents show that the previous council already tried to get rid of Demasius in 2011. According to the documents, the previous council obtained a legal opinion on the renewal of his contact on January 28 2011.

By then Demasius’ term of office was supposed to lapse on May 9 2011, but it was extended by default, since no definite decision was taken on the renewal or not, prior to May 9 2011, thus allowing him to serve another term.

The council also did not at the time, as per the Local Authority Act, notify Demasius at least three calendar months before the expiry of his term of office of its intention to retain him for an extended term or not.

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