Suspended TransNamib Chief Executive Officer, Sara Naanda, faces dismissal after the board of the parastatal revealed that she was acting in breach of confidentiality by sharing sensitive company information with third parties, The Villager can reveal.
The Villager also understands that the parastatal Board had a meeting on Monday 16 March in which Naanda’s issue was discussed and concurrence within the better part of the board is that she should be shown the door.
A confidential document in The Villager’s hands dated 16 March from Köpplinger Boltman Legal Practitioners addressed to the Board Chairperson of the parastatal shows that a thorough investigation instituted by TransNamib Board through Ernest and Young proves that the company will effectively charge Naanda with breach of confidentiality, conflict of interest and breach of trust.
The letter of confirmation was signed off by G.F Köpplinger on behalf of Köpplinger Boltman Legal Practitioners.
“We, accordingly, confirm that we have been provided with a draft interim report from Ernst & Young that addressed only a limited part of the overall investigations for which E&Y have been mandated by the Board to perform,” noted the letter in part.
It also added that “…In that during or about 11th March 2013, breached your obligations and duties relating to confidentiality of information by sharing the contents and information contained in a letter or draft letter to the Minister of Works regarding lease/ joint venture agreements with a third party to with a certain Augustinus Katiti prior to the submission of the letter to the Minister, making it possible for such third party to have access to such confidential information …,” reads the charge sheet in part.
The Board also found that Naanda blind copied Katiti in the confidential e-mail concerning the appointment of the Chief Legal Officer and Chief Legal Advisor detailing their salary grade. She is also accused of sharing information concerning the TransNamib Commercialisation plan, unaudited financial statements, information pertaining to the challenges faced by TransNamib, tonnage transported per sector, and also information pertaining to TransNamib debt as at December 2013.
Köpplinger Boltman Legal Practitioners, acting on behalf of TransNamib analysed the draft report and noted that Naanda should be charged through a disciplinary process.
“Although there might be an explanation as to why the data indicates that Augustinus Katiti effected changes to the draft letter, such as that she, for some or other reason, worked on Katiti’s computer when she amended the draft letter herself, on a balance of probabilities on the information available currently, she would probably be found guilty of the charge proposed,” noted the letter in part.
In their recommendations to the Board the legal advisers wrote that, “The facts speak for themselves in this regard. Any excuse relating to her own private use of the confidential information forwarded to a third party’s email address (or received from it) would be negated by the fact that the third party, as owner of the e-mail account, would have had access to such confidential information. It is recommended that she be charged in regard to such incidents with breach of her confidentiality obligations,”
The letter added that consideration should be made for a charge of conflict of interest in regard to that letter which related to a relationship between Naanda and Katiti whilst drafting a letter dealing with Beau Homes Real Estate (Beauhomes), a company in which Katiti has an interest in.
“In our view, the prospects of success for a recommended charge of conflict of interests are slightly above 50%. The reduced chances are as a result of the alleged insistence of a board member for the signing of the termination letter by the CEO, where she might argue that the Board member knew about her relationship or was informed thereof by Ihuhua,” said the letter in part.
The letter noted that the third charge would be a breach of trust on Naanda’s part thus recommending this as an alternative charge based on paragraph 4.5 of the employer’s disciplinary code and with regards to her seniority position, such a charge might convince an arbitrator or court if everything else fails.
The letter also noted that in their understanding, the final E&Y interim report has not been provided yet as E&Y attempted but had no success in interviewing the CEO in connection with the specific issues reported in the interim report.
“Their attempts have been met with delaying tactics, attempts to obfuscate the issues that would have formed part of the agenda for the interview and the adding of discussion subjects that are not part of E&Y’s terms of reference,” noted the letter in part.
However, the disciplinary policy in any event provides for an opportunity for the accused employee to provide a written statement.
“It is, therefore, proposed that no further attempt be made to interview her and that the E&Y finalise the interim report,” noted the letter in part.
TransNamib Board Chairperson, Dr Pieter Oosthuizen, could neither deny nor confirm whether his board will settle for dismissal of the embattled CEO.
“There is a process we are following regarding the suspension of Miss Naanda,” said Oosthuizen.
Meanwhile, the Board Spokesperson, Dantagos Jimmy-Melani, said internal disciplinary proceedings are of a confidential nature.
“The contents of any investigator’s report and possible charges will not be disclosed to the media and be commented on by the Board at this stage,” said Jimmy-Melani.
The Villager can also reveal that Naanda has totally refused to face her charges directly, advising the board of the parastatal to deal with her through her lawyers.