Wilson’s Sports Commission appointment questioned

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Windhoek

It never rains but only pours for the troubled Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) as the dust refuses to settle in the aftermath of the mysterious exit of Walter Haseb, who was NSC interim chief administrator (AC) until his removal.

Haseb was recalled from his acting position and was redeployed back to his initial position of finance and administration manager after he fell out with the NSC commissioners. Haseb publicly called for the commissioners to be sacked and further blasted them for their continued interference in the daily affairs of the NSC.

The aggrieved sports technocrat wrote a strongly worded letter to the portfolio minister Jerry Ekandjo, requesting his office to recall with immediate effect the newly appointed commissioners.

His actions did not sit exactly well with the fingered commissioners, who in turn retaliated by stripping him of his powers as acting head of the NSC with immediate effect.

With his powers now limited and slowly running out of venom, Haseb responded by tendering his resignation, but the commissioners would have none of that and said he must first sort out the mess he created in the finance department before he cleared his desk.

Haseb is reportedly held responsible for the Commission’s patchy financial records, including the non-payment of taxes to the receiver of revenue and outstanding utility and employees’ missing pension contributions, despite monthly deductions from staff members.

His interim successor Peter Wilson, who is also one of the newly appointed commissioners, is now under scrutiny since it has emerged that his temporary appointment is unconstitutional, as the Sports Act does not make provision for any member of the Commission to fill the vacant position of chief administrator – it only makes provision for a staff member or any other outside party to fill that position.

Sub-section (9) of section/rule 23 of the Namibia Sports Act of 2003 states: “Whenever the office of the chief administrator becomes vacant or he or she is for any reason unable to perform his or her functions, the Commission must designate any staff member of the Commission, or if circumstances so require, appoint any person until the vacancy is filled or the chief administrator is able to perform his or her functions again.”

In a similar incident this year, in case no. A9/2016 between Willem George Titus and the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) & two others, in August this year, the court found the NHE had violated the very Act that established it when the board of directors appointed one of its own as acting chief executive officer.

The Windhoek High Court upheld an application brought by Titus, the senior manager for operations and business development, against the decision by the board to appoint Elton Khoitage !Gaoseb as the acting CEO after the term of Vincent Hailulu came to an end last year.

The designation and appointment of a board member as acting CEO of NHE was in violation of Section 10 (4) of the NHE Act and therefore the appointment was invalid and of no force or effect.

The section in question stipulates that if the post of CEO of NHE is vacant, the board shall designate any suitable staff member of NHE to act, until a substantive CEO has been appointed. The ruling is also applicable to the Namibia Sports Commission chief administrator position.

Attempts to get comment from NSC chairperson Joel Matheus proved futile as his mobile phone was off at the time of going to print.

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