• September 28th, 2020

ACC gives Nimt ultimatum over allegations

Eveline de Klerk

SWAKOPMUND - Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) director general Paulus Noa has ordered the board of directors of the Institute of Mining and Technology (Nimt) to investigate corruption claims that allegedly occurred under it nose.
Noa, in a letter dated 5 March, gave the board until 5 April 2019 to answer to allegations of corruption, nepotism, embezzlement, sexual harassment and jobs for relatives at the institute. The 27-page document of allegations, seen by New Era, was forwarded to the chairperson of the Nimt board of directors, Gaby Schneider, by Noa.
Noa wants Schneider and her board to answer to claims involving about N$3 million of donor money that was allegedly embezzled at the financially struggling institute. It is alleged that some of the funds were allegedly received from BTrading GmbH from Switzerland, to assist poor students financially. 
However it was allegedly paid into the trust account of law firm of a relative to the executive director.  
The said firm was recently declared insolvent.
The document also alleges that no procurement policy or procedures were followed when some services were contracted. 
Supposed evidence attached to the documents shows that a certain Mueller Legal Practitioners Services, that allegedly belongs to Nimt executive director Eckhart Mueller’s son, was used instead of going on tender for legal services.
Also job appointments were allegedly done without following the correct recruitment procedures as relatives and children of those in management positions were hired instead of jobs being advertised first. 
“Some of the appointees did not even have the proper qualifications and were already at retirement age,” the document states.
The document alleges that Mueller employed his daughter, her husband and the husband’s sister without the positions being advertised. 
Another employee, deputy director Heimo Hellwig’s daughter, Bianco Hellwig, was employed as receptionist without the position being advertised, just as the principal of engineering, Janice Bussel, was also employed in 2018 in the same manner, said the document shared by the ACC.
“Information technology and student affairs principal, Hennie Horn’s brother-in- law Morne Muller was appointed as a computer lecturer.”
The sister of the personal assistant for southern campus Ailien Loots-Kruger was appointed in 2016 and safety officer Wilma Nekundi’s husband Damment Nekundi was also appointed in the position of asset controller without the position being advertised or going through the interview, the document alleges.
Another issue highlighted in the document is the alleged closure of campuses on 15 January for the funeral of Mueller’s wife.
“Mueller’s memo ordered the closure of all campuses when his wife passed on although she was not an employee at Nimt. Nimt’s transport and finances were used to transport people to the funeral and yet our salaries were paid late and in bits for January,” the whistle-blowers alleged.
According to Noa, ACC is of the opinion that the allegations warrant investigation and that the appropriate entity to ensure that such investigation is carried out is the board of directors of Nimt.
Meanwhile, Mueller, along with 27 other employees in management positions, have threatened to close down the institution after registering a vote of no confidence in the board of directors.
The group is accusing the board of directors of allegedly giving preference to minority groups at the institution, among others.

Eveline de Klerk
2019-03-22 08:57:13 | 1 years ago

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