Namibians petition against allegedly racist engineer

15 Sep 2016 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 15 SEP (NAMPA) - A group of close to 300 concerned Namibians on Thursday handed over a petition to the Engineering Council of Namibia (ECN) against racism allegedly advanced by one of its members.
The petition strongly condemned the apparently racist and unprofessional conduct, allegedly displayed by a member of the council, Alwyn Strauss, towards a trainee engineer.
Strauss, a locally registered geotechnical engineer and member of the ECN, allegedly told a trainee engineer, Ankita Ndakukamo, that he could not supervise her because she is black.
In the recording of a telephone conversation on 29 August 2016, Strauss allegedly told Ndakukamo that he cannot share his intellectual property with her because “government wants to drive out whites from the country”.
Strauss is one of the few experienced engineers in the country who can supervise trainees.
The allegedly unprofessional conduct then prompted a group of 295 concerned Namibians to support the trainee engineer and handed over a written petition to the ECN at its office here on Thursday, in which they bitterly raised their concerns of the racist remarks allegedly made by Strauss towards the trainee.
“When she called him, he not only treated her with utter disrespect, sexism and blatant racism, but he broke the laws of the country within which he is living by rejecting her request to serve under him because she is 'Black'.
“As a woman of colour in Engineering, she already has to work twice as hard as a man and it is unacceptable that he would make her already difficult road that much harder,” reads the petition.
It continued that Strauss’ alleged attack on Ndakukamo has harmed the majority of Namibians and demanded that Strauss make a public apology for his alleged racist remarks.
“We will be looking to see what the Engineering Council of Namibia does about its members who show some complete disregard for the history of this country and the laws which govern us,” noted the concerned group of citizens in the petition.
Reports carried by the Namibian Sun newspaper on Thursday have it that the president of the ECN, Markus von Jeney has launched an investigation in respect of the alleged unprofessional and racist conduct by Strauss.
According to Von Jeney, a committee was appointed to deal with the investigation.
The alleged remarks have also led to a public outcry in which the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) called on the ECN to revoke Strauss’ engineering licence and for Government not to give him any work.
The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement also slammed the alleged racist conduct of Strauss.