Namdeb MD unaware of LPM call for him to resign

Riaan Burger

Namdeb Diamond Corporation managing director Riaan Burger is still in office days after the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) Oranjemund branch called for his resignation.

He said earlier this week he is unaware of the party’s call for his resignation.

The call was made through a petition at Oranjemund on Friday.

“I am still in the office,” Burger said.

The petition, which was not received by anyone from Namdeb, cites the reason for the demand as a case of trespassing into a restricted area, specifically the Tsau//khaeb National Park, where 12 senior officials allegedly entered near the Sendelingsdrift mine close to Rosh Pinah.

This case was reported to the Rosh Pinah authorities by Michael Kalonda, a senior diamond inspector from the Ministry of Mines and Energy in August.

“In light of this, we demand the following, [sic] Riaan Burger to resign within 24 hours, including [sic] Jurgen Jacobs and the 12 associates, with immediate effect, as per CR Number: 10/092023, for the violation of The Diamond Act 1999 (Act 13 of 1999) Section 52 subsection 2, for Entering a Restricted Area Without a Valid Section 27 (k) Permit (Restricted Area Permit) at the Block 3 area,” reads the petition.

LPM Oranjemund branch acting secretary McCrailly Walters believes the seriousness of the allegations warrants a thorough investigation.

“We have forwarded the matter to the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Namibian Police. Additionally, we will refer this matter to the Office of the Ombudsman and the Anti-Corruption Commission. If there is no action, we will persist until restorative justice is achieved,” he said.

According to the police incident report, Kalonda allegedly observed an entry by Namdeb officials in the logbook during a visit at the mining site on 8 August.

“When Kalonda went back to his office for verification, he found out that there was no record of any permits issued to a Namdeb site visit group from their office. On enquiring from colleagues, no one issued permits for the visit besides a brief discussion on a possible site visit by one of the Namdeb officials with his colleague,” reads the report.

Kalonda allegedly opened the case on advice from his colleagues at the office.

Kharas regional police crime investigations coordinator deputy commissioner Nicodemus Mbango said the case is being treated as trespassing.

According to him, investigations revealed that the Namdeb employees entered the restricted area without written permission, although they had their names logged in a registry book at the gate.

“They had verbal permission, but the person who granted it was not authorised to do so. They were required to obtain written permission from the ministry. Our investigation found that they did not engage in any activities in the area,” said Mbango.

He added that mine manager Frederick Botma acknowledged that there were Namdeb personnel on the site for a site visit, alleging that he communicated with his colleagues, thus he allowed the Namdeb team to enter the area.

Mbango said no mining activities were conducted by the Namdeb employees and no case of illegal mining was opened.

The matter has been referred to the Office of the Prosecutor General for a decision.

Burger declined to comment on the issue.

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