Air Nam Board appointment on cabinet agenda …As Namases’ pay-out is released
Cabinet will deliberate the appointment of the new Air Namibia board this week following a request by the Minister of Works and Transport, Alpheus !Naruseb The Villager can reveal.
The Minister of Works and Transport and the Minister of State Owned Enterprises Leon Jooste are also embroiled in discord with the former advocating for the reinstatement of the former Managing Director Theo Namases while the later says the move is not practical.
Minister of State Owned Enterprises Leon Jooste confirmed to The Villager that cabinet will deliberate the Air Namibia issue saying,” I know the Minister of Works and Transport requested that cabinet deliberate on the issue. There are a few names that have been presented for debate on the next cabinet meeting but I am not in a position to share these with you as the last time I saw them was on Friday when I was at work. I can however confirm that two former board members will be returned.”
Jooste also told The Villager that there is confusion over the reinstatement of former Managing Director Theo Namases who by last Friday was paid part of the more than N$3.3 million that she had settled for with the previous Board.
“As it stands I do not think it is wise to reinstate her because the last board had already reached a settlement with her. Unless the incoming board decides and she can apply like anyone else then it will be feasible but an out and out reinstatement is not practical,” Jooste said.
Jooste’s sentiments however contradicts the Minister of work’s sentiments who The Villager understands had advised the previous board to opt for a reinstatement of Namases instead of paying her a hefty golden handshake that was not immediately available to the company.
Last week Works Minister did not retain the services of former Board members, Tim Ekandjo, Board Chairperson Haroldt Schmidt and Board Member Erastus Hoveka upon the lapsing of their term.
Air Namibia’s Head of Corporate Communications Paul Nakawa last week refused to comment on the issue of the reappointment of the former board member and referred all the comments to the Works and Transport Minister.
The Acting Air Namibia Managing Director and Chief Operation Officer (COO) Rene Gsponer said he has not received any information of that nature.
The Villager could not get hold of the Works and Transport Minister, !Naruseb as his phone went unanswered before the paper went for press.
Last week, Air Namibia announced a settlement agreement reached between Namases and the company and that they would part ways. Namases had served the parastatal from 2002 until 2009.
Late last year, Namases lodged an urgent application, challenging her suspense on in the High Court.
She stated that she wanted to be reinstated and demanded the court to set aside the decision by the Air Namibia board of directors to suspend her.
Court documents confirmed that the ongoing fight between the national airline and the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) as well as the DCA’s reluctance to renew Air Namibia’s Air Operators Certificate was at the core of Namases suspension.
Namases at the time challenged the legality of her suspension and argued that the board did not follow correct procedures when suspending her hence the suspension being invalid.
She also argued claims that her suspension was unsound because the board did not issue a written notice from the meeting where the decision to suspend her was made, adding that the board meeting to suspend her was not properly constituted.
Namases last week broke the silence on her suspension saying for the past year she maintained her peace hoping that one day justice will be served and her reputation will be restored.
Namases reiterated in a statement to the media that she was innocent and that her suspension had no basis in law.
By Tiri Masawi. Additional reporting by Charmaine Ngatjiheue