Kalkrand tension still simmeringBy: CATHERINE SASMAN
COMMUNITY activist James Hansen, who walked from Kalkrand to Windhoek with a wooden cross to draw attention to alleged corruption at the Kalkrand Village Council, has threatened to take to the road again if matters at the council are not cleared.
“The leaders must not think they are kings. The nation that voted them into power are the kings. The leaders are the servants of the nation, and not the nation,” said Hansen.
Since Hansen arrived in Windhoek on July 22 and met with the Permanent Secretary of Regional and Local Government, Sirkka Ausiku, a ministerial team has been sent to the village to investigate the corruption claims.
In the meantime, though, villagers allege that Swapo Party councillor Adriaan Beukes, who is the chairperson of the council’s management committee, clandestinely entered the council offices in the middle of the night on two occasions, presumably to tamper with or remove evidence from the council offices.
Beukes and ‘Menthol’ Links are said to have gone into the council office on a Saturday evening. The villagers said Beukes, Links, and Beukes’s driver were again spotted at the council building on Thursday evening, and the police reportedly asked them to leave.
Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) councillor Rebekka van Staden said eyewitnesses told her last Monday that Beukes and Links were inside the council office on Saturday evening between nine and ten o’ clock at night.
On Thursday evening between three and four in the morning, she said, the police were informed that Beukes, Links and Beukes’s driver were trying to get into the council office.
The three had apparently parked Beukes’s official car in a dark spot away from the council office and were seen walking to the office.
“The police had to patrol the area and repeatedly had to chase Beukes and his group away from the council,” said Van Staden.
She said one of the council office’s keys had gone missing.
But the station commander of the Kalkrand police station, Sergeant Colin Kazogominja, said he had no knowledge of any nocturnal activities by Beukes at the council office.
Another thorn in the flesh of the RDP councillors and some villagers is that the acting village council CEO, Connie Bock, returned to the council office last week at the behest of the Swapo Party councillors, despite an instruction by the ministry’s investigating team that he should leave the office.
Van Staden said Swapo Party councillors Beukes, Emily van Staden and Christine Garoës said at a council meeting on Thursday that they would not allow Minister Jerry Ekandjo to intervene in their decisions, as the council has the last say.
One of the ministerial investigators into the Kalkrand corruption claims, deputy director of traditional authorities Karl Ndoroma, on Friday said Beukes had informed him that Bock would return to the council office as a council resolution still had to be made on Bock’s position.
The minority RDP councillors want to request the ministry that another CEO be appointed.
Beukes and Bock could not be reached for comment since both have apparently changed their phone numbers.