Ekandjo tells Aranos to lift mayor’s suspensionBy: LUQMAN CLOETE
LOCAL Government Minister Jerry Ekandjo has told the Aranos Town Council to withdraw the suspension of its mayor, Hans Josef Baffrath.
A reliable source said Ekandjo last week called the council's deputy chairperson, Sara Uutaatama, and told her that the council should withdraw the suspension.
Uutaatama could not be reached to confirm or deny the call. The source added that the council has not yet lifted the suspension.
According to the source, the council wants the minister to to put his instruction on paper before it would be tabled for discussion at a council meeting.
The council on May 31 decided to suspend the mayor for one month for allegedly breaching a code of conduct for councillors.
Baffrath told The Namibian that he was accused of refusing to take a voluntary HIV test at a ceremony he attended at Rehoboth in September last year, and of transporting alcoholic beverages in a council vehicle. Baffrath claimed that his fellow councillors were hell-bent on removing him from office to push through their “self-enrichment” agendas in his absence.
When asked whether he was aware that Ekandjo had ordered the council to withdraw his suspension, Baffrath responded: “Yes, the minister made the phone call in my presence, instructing the council's vice chairperson that the council should lift my suspension”.