Uutoni suspends Karasburg town councillors


Minister of urban and rural development Erastus Uutoni has suspended all town councillors at the Karasburg Town Council.

This decision is contained in the latest Government Gazette, which was released on Friday.

Uutoni visited Karasburg on Friday to provide feedback on these decisions to the town council and community.

The suspended councillors are Maria Veldskoen, Elia Hauwanga, Gregorius Ruhl, Frieda Amutenya, Nesmus Mupiya, Josef Witbooi, and Fransiskus Skeyer.

Four of the councillors were representing the LPM, while Swapo had two representatives, and the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) one.

Uutoni appointed Elize Laubscher, the former chief executive of the Aroab Village Council, as administrator on his behalf.

Uutoni last year warned the town council through mayor Maria Veldskoen that councillors could face suspension should they not reverse administrative decisions taken by the council, but deemed “irregularities related to non-compliance with applicable laws and prescribed administrative processes” by the minister.

Veldskoen and acting chief executive Hanzina Isaaks were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) last year in a move ACC director Paulus Noa described as: “These people have no respect for the law and are doing things outside the parameters provided by the law. They are a law unto themselves and do not listen to anyone, including the minister of urban and rural development.”

Uutoni pointed out that the council irregularly changed banking signatory powers, made illegal appointments, misused the council’s vehicle assigned to Veldskoen, and involved councillors in awarding tenders.

Uutoni said since the illegal change to banking signatory rights, payments exceeding N$900 000 have been made from the council’s bank accounts.

He said these payments are deemed unauthorised and those who signed them off would be held accountable.

Failure by the council to demonstrate its full commitment to all directives and any non-compliance would leave him no other option but to dissolve the council as per the Local Authorities Act, he said.

The Government Gazette says the councillors were suspended without renumeration and allowances.

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