Karasburg Mayor and Council members arrested by the ACC

Martin Endjala

The Director General of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Paulus Noah, confirmed yesterday the arrest of Karasburg Town Council Mayor Maria Veldskoen, Acting Chief Executive Officer Hansina Isaaks, Franciskus Skeyer, and other council members for allegedly defying local authority governing law.

“Yes, it is true. Some Councillors and their cohorts are acting in defiance of the law governing local authorities. They believe their decisions must be implemented, no matter how unlawful,” Noah stated.

He said the accused persons allegedly fired administrative officers who refused to implement unlawful council decisions while claiming that they conducted themselves with “absolute impunity,” a stance he deemed unacceptable.

The Karasburg council has been embroiled in power struggles, highlighted by conflicts surrounding CEO Nico Titus, who faced suspension and issues regarding office access.

These tensions persisted despite Minister of Urban and Rural Development Erastus Uutoni’s directives and attempts to mediate, eventually leading to the directive aimed at reversing decisions related to signatory authorization powers and the appointment of CEO Hansina Isaaks.

“I am once again directing you and the entire Council to respect and adhere to laid-down legal and administrative procedures and to uphold the law as per the oath of office that you took,” urged Uutoni.

However, Landless People’s Movement (LPM) Spokesperson Lifalaza Simaata perceives the arrest as a biased move against LPM by Minister Uutoni, describing it as a witch-hunt conducted through the ACC for matters Simaata believes are administrative and not warranting such intervention.

“The charges for which they are arrested are inflated because the matter on the ground is an administrative matter,” Simaata emphasized, expressing his concerns over the perceived bias and alleging the minister’s failure to address other issues involving town councils and councillors.

He further argued that Uutoni’s approach to the Karasburg town council appeared disproportionately harsh compared to his handling of other issues within different councils.

“This is a huge display of brutal force, and we find such leadership very biased, problematic, and quite dangerous,” argued Simaata, emphasizing the potential hindrance faced by elected officials due to the interference of unelected executives.

In response to the unfolding situation, the LPM has engaged its legal team, vowing to resolutely challenge the case.

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