Omusati-Governor of Omusati Erginus Endjala has complied with President Hage Geingob’s directive and on Friday issued a second apology after the president said the initial atonement was rather timid and was not sufficient.
The under-fire governor’s latest apology follows in the wake of remarks he made during a telephonic conversation that was recorded and circulated online via an audio clip that reportedly contained offensive remarks towards Aandonga people, some youth activists, as well as fellow politicians.
Endjala issued his second apology shortly after the president on Friday ordered him to issue a full apology over the tribalistic remarks.
Endjala said he was asking for forgiveness from the people he offended, as he realised that his utterances fell short of the high standards expected of a leader.
“I have realised that my utterances fell short of the standard expected of a leader and a constitutional office-bearer and indeed a direct representative of the president in the Omusati Region,” he briefly stated.
His apology comes after it emerged that Endjala had made crass remarks about the Aandonga – a sub-group of the Aawambo – in a secretly recorded audio clip that went viral on various social media networks last week.
President Geingob asked Endjala to tender an apology that was unreserved, unequivocal and unconditional for the widely reported tribalistic remarks that triggered a massive media backlash and widespread public criticism.
The order was contained in a strongly-worded letter, dated July 27, issued by press secretary in the Office of the President Albertus Aochamub, in which the president said the apology the governor had issued earlier fell far short of a comprehensive statement of regret.
“As my representative in the region I expect you to uphold the highest standards of leadership and constitutional principles, especially with regards to fostering peace and harmonious relations in the region.
“Your unfortunate tribal utterances, therefore, are counterproductive and diminishing our concerted effort to build an inclusive Namibian House – where all tribes and races live in unity and harmony,” President Geingob stated in his letter.
The letter quotes Endjala as having simply said, “I apologise if it offended or inconvenienced anybody,” which President Geingob evidently considered insufficient.
Endjala earlier admitted to having had a private telephonic conversation with Swapo member Taimi Tekla Iimbili at the end of June, but said he was not aware that their conversation was being recorded.
In three audio clips posted online by people suspected to be his political opponents, the governor accused some party leaders of being incompetent and corrupt. He also accused some cadre of being at loggerheads with the Swapo Party.