Presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari yesterday said according former Brave Warriors coach Seth Boois hero status and burial at the revered Heroes Acre is not exclusively at the behest of President Hage Geingob, but it is done on the recommendations of the National Honours Advisory Committee.
The family of the late Boois, who also served as the technical director of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and was equally a renowned writer, wrote to Geingob, requesting him to accord him hero status and also have him buried at Heroes Acre on the outskirts of Windhoek.
Boois died last week Thursday at age 60. The Boois family, who wrote to the head of state, through the law firm BB Boois Attorneys, owned by the late Boois’ daughter Beatrix Bianca Boois, said the deceased’s unwavering contribution to the development of Namibian football and sport in general, as well as his contribution to the nourishing of local literature through his many books, warrants him hero status and burial at the Heroes Acre.
Hengari yesterday confirmed the Presidency did receive the letter requesting Geingob to confer hero status on the late Boois and for the president to facilitate Boois’ burial at the national heroes’ memorial site.
However, Hengari said according or not according the late Boois hero status and burial at the Heroes Acre is not exclusively at the directive of President Geingob, as there is a statutory national honours advisory committee that is tasked with dealing specifically with such matters and only on the recommendations of the committee can Geingob act. The National Honours Advisory Committee advises the president when exercising his discretion to confer honours and to provide for incidental matters.
“There are clear procedures in terms of such awards, and they are on the recommendation of the National Honours Advisory Committee. It is the statutory body that is tasked with these matters. The Presidency confirms receipt of the letter and cannot act without advice from the committee,” said Hengari.
The Government Gazette of 2012, which deals with the conferment of national honours, under Section 3, states that where the President wishes to confer any honour, regarding heroism, leadership, act or achievement meriting recognition of national status, upon a person set out in that subsection, the President may do so after consultation with the National Honours Advisory Committee, which committee must advise the President – and where applicable, the President may do so after consultation with any other interested and relevant persons and institutions as contemplated under the act.
Also contacted for comment yesterday, Beatrix Bianca Boois expressed unhappiness with how the media has reported on her late father’s passing, saying no respect for privacy or sensitivity was shown by some.
She also refused to comment on their request for Geingob to grant their late father hero status and burial at the Heroes Acre, saying their letter, written in good faith, was leaked out to the media and general public and she, therefore, sees no need to comment.