Conradie on SOE forum committeeBy: CATHERINE SASMAN
JAWS reportedly dropped at the first meeting of the proposed State-Owned Enterprises Forum on Friday when Dirk Conradie got onto a list of six interim subcommittee members who are supposed to steer a concept paper on the forum.
The subcommittee consists of board chairpersons of SOEs, but Conradie, whose wings were clipped as board chairperson of the Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) last week, said yesterday he is part of the subcommittee in his personal capacity, and not as MTC chair.
After Conradie and Sarah Damases were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for alleged corruption in a tender process where he stands accused of having planned to use his influence as MTC board chairperson in the awarding of a N$60 million tender, MTC decided to keep him on a retainer.
He is, however, not allowed to execute his duties as board chairperson.
“I initiated the forum almost a year ago; it’s my brainchild. I have availed myself as an additional member,” said Conradie yesterday.
Other members on the sub-committee are SOE board chairpersons Jerry Muadinohamba (NamPort), Elize Angula (Development Bank of Namibia), Abraham Nehemia (NamWater), Mandela Kapere (National Youth Council), Maria Dax (Namibia Reinsurance), and André September (Namibia Institute of Pathology).
A source preferring anonymity who was present at the Friday meeting said it was not clear in what capacity Conradie was either nominated, or volunteered himself, to the subcommittee.
“Most people were dumbstruck that he was kept on at the MTC board, but to have him proposed for the subcommittee, and he accepts, is surprising,” the source said.
The first meeting of the forum was organised by the MVA Fund.
Fellow subcommittee member Muadinohamba also said he was not aware in what capacity Conradie served on the subcommittee, saying yesterday that he had to consult on this matter with other members.
Late yesterday afternoon, Muadinohamba, presumably after consulting his fellow committee members, said that Conradie volunteered to serve on the subcommittee and is not a substantive member of the body.
There were reportedly 32 other SOE board chairpersons at the meeting. Acting MTC board chairperson, Itah Kandjii-Murangi, however, was not present.
The purpose of the forum, it is understood, is to deal with the fragmentation of the SOE governance of the 70-odd SOEs and thus harness and streamline the activities of parastatals.
Through that duplication would be minimised.