Trouble brewing at NSC
… demand for current board to be recalled
Windhoek – A dark cloud hangs over the immediate future of the newly appointed Board of Commissioners of the National Sports Commission (NSC).
Just months after it was duly appointed by the Sport Minister Jerry Ekandjo, the NSC Board of Commissioners has come under heavy critique and stands accused of blatant interference in the day-to-day administration of the NSC directorate, including allegations of maladministration and self enrichment.
New Era Sport is in possession of a copy of a letter drafted by local legal practitioner Thomas Andima of Van der Merwe Greeff Andima Inc, the law firm representing the aggrieved NSC acting chief administrator Walter Haseb.
The letter contains a scathing attack on the commissioners’ apparent shoddy modus operandi and accuses the newcomers of overstepping the limits of their authority. The quartet of Peter Wilson, Monica Shapwa, chairman Joel Matheus and his deputy Erika Beukes are fingered as the main offenders.
It is alleged that the foursome has made it their sole beat to issue and sign NSC cheques at random, whilst giving direct instructions to employees – a nauseating practice that amounts to undermining the authority of the incumbent commander-in-chief at General Murtalla Avenue.
Furthermore, commissioners are accused of having discovered the NSC as an extremely generous “milk cow” by convening meaningless and unscheduled meetings at the slightest provocation in an ostensible desperate bid to cash in on lucrative sitting, accommodation and travel allowances.
Figures provided to New Era Sport reveal a nasty trend whereby gatherings are held up to four times a day with a record tally of 38 meetings in just two months.
Despite the NSC boasting a state-of-the-art boardroom, commissioners are said to be scrambling for office space at the NSC premises, notwithstanding the fact they hold full-time employment elsewhere.
It is further alleged that the under-fire commissioners have gravely contravened the financial policy of the NSC by procuring services in excess of N$50 000, whereas they were obliged to invite at least three potential tenderers for such services, as per the official requirement.
This unfolding saga has prompted the NSC workforce to seek urgent intervention from the relevant authorities after numerous discussions with lanky board chairman Matheus and the line ministry’s permanent secretary, Alfred Ilukena, failed to yield any positive results, thus obliging the aggrieved party through their legal representatives to seek an audience with the portfolio minister.
However, Ilukena shot down the accusations saying that at no stage did he ever hold any discussions with Haseb or his representatives concerning their grievances.
“For sure, I can recall Haseb coming to my office recently, but our conversation was about an unrelated issue as opposed to these claims, which I’m unfortunately only hearing for the first time”, he charged.
On his part, chairperson of the NSC Matheus laughed off the allegations, saying the board only held three meetings since its appointment in June.
“It’s true we had unscheduled marathon meetings, but this was because of circumstances beyond our control. It should be understood that these gatherings were necessitated by time constraints, because of the imminent annual sports awards, since we needed to put all the logistics in place.”
On the issue of signing cheques, the calculating beanpole sports administrator said the board took a resolution to do away with manual money transfers with a view to moving into the more flexible internet banking system. “The primary reason why we sign cheques is simply because the CEO cannot authorise payments beyond N$20 000,” he said.
He also shot back at Haseb, reminding the outspoken officebearer that as the chief accounting officer, it is incumbent on him to alert his superiors when they overstep boundaries. Nevertheless, Haseb’s legal representatives would not budge and took the matter up with the highest authorities, the portfolio ministry.
“As a matter of extreme urgency, we kindly request that you intervene and attend to this matter and should the need arise, invoke the provisions of section 7 (b) of Namibian Sports Act for the removal of members if they contravene, or alternatively, engage in malicious conduct as those stated in the above mentioned complaints,” reads part of the strongly worded letter.
The ministry has been given seven days to respond as to how it intends to resolve the dispute, failing which Haseb’s legal representatives would approach the courts for relief.