Swartbooi offers to resign after Nujoma comments

13 Dec 2016 19:50pm
WINDHOEK, 13 DEC (NAMPA) – Deputy Minister of Land Reform Bernadus Swartbooi has offered to resign after refusing to apologise for saying Land Reform Minister Utoni Nujoma resettles people from other regions in southern Namibia at the expense of the Nama people.
Minister of Presidential Affairs in the Office of the President, Frans Kapofi confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday.
President Hage Geingob last week instructed Swartbooi to issue a written public apology for the remarks made at a festival at Hoachanas last Saturday.
According to reports, Swartbooi accused Nujoma of resettling people from other regions in the South while the Namas are being sidelined.
He was also quoted as saying Nujoma should be called to order, and that he does not work for the minister, but for Geingob.
The statement said Geingob along with Vice President Nickey Iyambo, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Kapofi met with Swartbooi on Tuesday.
The purpose of the meeting was for the president to explain the need for an apology and to assist him where he might have required additional explanations.
“During the meeting, the president pointed out that the deputy minister was appointed to serve under the minister, support him and assist him at all times in execution of his functions,” said Kapofi.
Swartbooi’s comments that he does not work for Nujoma but for Geingob are thus incorrect and therefore form the basis for a demand for an apology, he explained.
Geingob further said despite differences of opinion that may exist between the deputy minister and the minister, Swartbooi’s choice to use a public platform to launch an attack on Nujoma was inappropriate.
“There are many appropriate avenues through which such differences could have been handled,” he said.
Geingob insisted that Swartbooi should apologise, but he refused to do so and instead offered to resign from his position as Deputy Minister of Land Reform.
“The President is awaiting the letter of resignation from Honourable Swartbooi,” the statement said.