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ACC investigator fights on for top job

2022-04-25  Maria Amakali

ACC investigator fights on for top job

Anti-Corruption Commission investigator Phelem Masule – whose promotion was unceremoniously reversed by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila – will continue to challenge her decision.

Last week, Masule indicated through court documents that he will forge ahead for the High Court to decide whether it will set aside Kuugongelwa-Amadhila’s decision to reverse his appointment as chief of investigations and prosecutions days after his appointment. 

Masule is back in the High Court after winning his appeal in the Supreme Court this year in February. 

The Supreme Court set aside the orders of the High Court, which ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to hear Masule’s application and struck it off the court’s roll. 

The apex court then sent the matter back to the High Court for decision.  

Judge Eileen Rakow has since ordered for the parties to file supplementary and answering affidavits before 14 July. 

She then postponed the matter to 26 July for case management. 

Masule was promoted to the position of chief of investigations and prosecutions in July 2020 on recommendation of the Public Service Commission (PSC) after applying for the advertised position and attending interviews. 

However, shortly after he occupied his new position in August, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila set aside the promotion.

In a letter directed to Masule, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila indicated she set aside the promotion due to irregularities that occurred within the recruitment process. 

She explained that ACC shortlisted candidates who failed to provide required documents with their applications. 

In addition, ACC allegedly communicated with the candidates after the application period has ended – which is against the rules.

Thus, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila ordered the commission to restart the process of recruiting a new chief of investigations and prosecutions. 

In a supplementary affidavit, the head of the ACC Paulus Noa stated 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 application, but that it was “agreed” 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, he said, the PSC felt that Masule, who scored insignificantly less than Iyambo, was the preferred candidate because of his long-standing history with the ACC.  


2022-04-25  Maria Amakali

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