Councillors and official arrested by ACC at Karasburg appear in court

Photo: Contributed.

Two councillors and a Karasburg Town Council official appeared in the Karasburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday after their arrest by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

They are mayor of Karaburg Maria Veldskoen, chairperson of the management committee Franciskus Skeyer and acting chief executive Hansina Isaacks.

They are charged under the Anti-Corruption Act for corruptly using the office for gratification/or position for gratification and conspiring to commit offences.

Magistrate Samingo Kasaone postponed the case to tomorrow for formal bail application, while the trio remains in custody.

Prosecutor Ester Jafet appeared for the state while Hasan Engelbrecht appeared as defence lawyer.

Three weeks ago, the ACC descended on the Karasburg Town Council in a wide-ranging investigation into the affairs of the local authority.

The ACC investigation came five days after urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni wrote a letter to Veldskoen in which he directed her and the council to reverse a number of decisions and actions he termed “unprocedural”.

Uutoni, as custodian of the local authorities, pointed to the council as disregarding the laws and rules governing local authorities.

These included the appointment of the acting chief executive officer, Isaacks from Keetmanshoop, as well as the appointment of Kallie Goliath as personal assistant to Veldskoen, which is reportedly not provided for in council structures.

Uutoni accused councillors of changing signatory powers of the council’s bank accounts, which he said is a direct violation of the local authority councillors’ code of conduct.

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