17 Jul 2013 05:00
KEETMANSHOOP, 17 JUL (NAMPA) ? Two members of the Keetmanshoop Municipality?s Tender Board who were discharged from their duties with immediate effect on 08 July this year, claim they had done nothing wrong.
The Strategic Executive for Local Economic Development and Community Services in the town's municipality, Jegg Christiaan, and Stores? Controller Johannes Jacobus Jansen maintain they were expelled for no valid reasons.
Speaking to Nampa on Wednesday, the pair said the reasons stated in their dismissal letters is that they were appointed at the discretion of the town council. Therefore, the council terminated their services until further notice.
?The reason stated is not valid at all. If a person is dismissed, there must be a reason for that. Last week, I wrote a letter to them, demanding to hear what I did wrong, but they have not responded so far,? Christiaan said.
Although Jansen and Christiaan could not confirm or deny it, Nampa understands that their dismissal stems from a feud within the tender committee, and particularly accusations that Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Hermanus Losper corruptly awarded a tender to his wife.
As the Acting CEO, Losper is also the chairperson of the municipality?s Tender Board.
He is accused of receiving, in an ?underhanded? manner, a quotation from his wife during May this year to fix the municipality?s computers for N.dollars 3 800.
Relations between Tender Board members allegedly turned sour when some members tried to object to the allocation of that tender because it was allegedly not discussed with the Tender Board sub-committee.
?People in the council now fear losing their jobs, because we are being dismissed and transferred back and forth for no apparent reasons,? Jansen said.
Municipality CEO Paul Vleermuis and Finance Manager Quinton Visagie are currently on paid suspensions since March this year, following allegations of incompetence and negligence.
Jansen indicated that on 12 July this year, he was also removed from his position as acting Chief Technician in the Infrastructure and Technical Services? department for him to focus primarily on his job as Stores? Controller.
?They told me because of some shortcomings in my performance at the municipal stores, they decided to stop me from acting as chief technician,? he stated.
Other sources in the council also informed this news agency that Jansen was transferred, and later dismissed because his good friendship with town mayor Moses Titus allegedly turned ?bitter? recently.
Approached for comment, Losper admitted that the two Tender Board members were dismissed, but rubbished allegations that the decision was influenced by the fact that members objected to his wife?s tender.
?No, it was not about my wife?s quotation at all. We just decided to dismiss them because I cannot trust them. They were supposed to serve for three years only, but they stayed for more than that,? he responded.
Losper said the council does not have strict regulations in appointing Tender Board members, and that is why people whose contracts were supposed to end after three years just continue to serve without their contracts being renewed.
?I replaced them with people I trust, and they cannot just stay there forever. In fact, they were not fired, just released. In the meantime, the council is deciding whether they should come back or not,? he continued.
Human Resources? Manager Joseph Rooi and Theopoline Mack, a clerk in the Finance department, replaced Jansen and Christiaan as the new members of the council?s Tender Board.