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ACC investigator to take up top job

2024-03-04  Maria Sheya

ACC investigator to take up top job

Phelem Masule, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator whose promotion was unceremoniously reversed by prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila
in 2020, will only serve one month as chief of investigations and prosecutions before he retires at the end of March.

On Friday, Windhoek High Court judge Eileen Rakow ordered that her 23 April 2023 judgement must come into effect, in which she ordered Masule to take up his promotion at the anti-graft agency. 

He has been fighting to get the High Court to set aside Kuugongelwa-Amadhila’s August 2020 decision to reverse his promotion to the position of chief of investigations and prosecutions at the ACC due to alleged irregularities which occurred within the recruitment process. She further ordered the commission to restart the process of recruiting a new chief of investigations and prosecutions.

In her Friday ruling, Rakow indicated that the court took into account that he will be 60 years old at the end of March, and will effectively only work for a month in that position.

Furthermore, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has failed to show what irreparable harm she might suffer if Masule takes up the promotion he is qualified for, and which was recommended by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the interview

In addition, the position has been vacant since 29 November 2019.

“On the other hand, the applicant (Masule) faces a high potential of
sustaining irreparable harm if the relief is not granted in that he will end his career as a civil servant in his current rank, and never have the satisfaction of achieving the top position that he was recommended for,” stated Rakow.

She further said the prime minister has a slim prospect of successfully appealing the matter in the Supreme Court.

Masule has been in court since 2020 after his promotion was reversed, just a month after he got the job in July.

His case went up to the Supreme Court, where he appealed the High Court’s
decision, which stated that it did not have jurisdiction to hear his matter. 

However, in February last year, the Supreme Court set aside the High Court’s decision, and ordered it to hear the case.

In court documents, ACC boss Paulus Noa stated that he was aware of the irregularities in the recruitment process. 

According to him, he was informed that some of the applicants submitted incomplete or wrong documents with  their applications, but that it was “agreed” that this may be rectified during the vetting process for the shortlisted candidates. 

One of those who submitted incomplete documents was one Iyambo, who initially scored the highest during the interviews.

However, the PSC felt that Masule, who scored insignificantly less than Iyambo, was the preferred candidate because of his long-standing history with the ACC.  


2024-03-04  Maria Sheya

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