Sacked Karasburg Town Councillor refuses to vacate office

Martin Endjala

In a developing controversy within the Karasburg Town Council, Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Hansina Isaacks is reportedly refusing to vacate her office despite being dismissed by members of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM).

An anonymous internal source disclosed that the reasons behind Isaacks’ dismissal are not fully detailed but are believed to be linked to her administrative role and alleged dual allegiances to both the mayor and party leadership, which precipitated her removal by the council.

Isaacks’ appointment came on June 6, 2023, succeeding Nico Titus, the former CEO suspended in 2021 amid allegations of financial mismanagement.

Since the announcement of her dismissal, Isaacks, alongside Karasburg Mayor Maria Veldskoen, has not responded to attempts for comments.

The council’s efforts to appoint a new CEO have been marred by internal disagreements, with a recent meeting yielding no conclusive decision due to infighting.

Lifalaza Simaata, the LPM Spokesperson, stated unawareness of Isaacks’ situation, focusing instead on recent dismissals within the LPM that have sparked contention over management committee positions.

Swapo Party Councillor, Frieda Hamutenya informed the Windhoek Observer that Isaacks was dismissed last week but has resisted leaving her post.

Hamutenya also highlighted the boycott of ongoing meetings by opposition parties, who demand adherence to Urban and Rural Development Minister Erastus Uutoni’s directives for restoring administrative duties to lawfully appointed individuals.

She criticized the lack of transparency in Isaacks’ appointment and called for LPM councillors to resolve their internal issues independently.

The dispute highlights a broader governance crisis in Karasburg, accentuated last year when Minister Uutoni reprimanded Isaacks, Veldskoen, and other LPM council members for flouting directives and the council ACT regarding CEO appointments.

Despite these challenges, Isaacks’ election as CEO and personal assistant to the Mayor continued, even as the officially recognized CEO remained in position.

In a letter dated 11 October 2023, Uutoni expressed serious concerns over the council’s ongoing violations and disregard for legal and administrative procedures, including unauthorized financial transactions exceeding N$900,000 and the contentious appointment of Isaacks, who is alleged to have approved the hiring of nine employees in an unprocedural manner.

The Karasburg Town Council faces a critical juncture as it grapples with internal discord and governance issues, highlighting the need for adherence to the rule of law and transparent administrative practices in local government operations.

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