Works and transport minister John Mutorwa has intervened into the much-publicised saga at the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), ordering the company’s board to reinstate the suspended assistant legal officer Natalia Isak.
Isak was suspended after she was involved in a physical confrontation with the parastatal’s chief financial officer.
Prior to her suspension, she wrote a lengthy letter, in which she opened a can of worms at the parastatal for alleged unfair salary grades, lack of transparency, illegal recruitment processes,
questionable tenders, staff victimisation, as well as gender and racial discrimination.
In a four-page letter to the NCAA board on Monday, Mutorwa also ordered the aviation authority to urgently conduct an independent investigation into the complaints listed by Isak. “It is my advice that in this regard, the NCAA board is strongly advised to possibly consider formally approaching the Ombudsman, the Employment Equity Commission and the Public Service Commission,” Mutorwa said in his letter. “No suspension and or victimisation of any NCAA staff, at this state, should be allowed. Only factual and honest truth will and must assist us all to eventually and amicably solve the perceived and real challenges and problems currently bedevilling the effective, efficient and professional rendering of public services at this strategic national institution,” Mutorwa ordered. He expressed his disappointment that previous directives to the board in May were not taken seriously – and at worse, clearly ignored for reasons yet to be explained to him. Mutorwa had vehemently opposed the reappointment of Reinhard Gartner as interim executive director and instructed the NCAA board to finalise the appointment of a substantive head.
The minister had also questioned the employment of South African nationals at the aviation authority. Meanwhile, Nampa yesterday reported that the NACC board has requested an urgent internal investigation into allegations of unlawful governance at the organisation made by Isak.
According to Nampa, chief legal counsel Gordon Elliott said the NCAA does not deny or dispute the allegations and complaints raised by the employee, as the regulator was not given a chance to address the issues before the employee decided to go public.
He explained that since the letter is doing the rounds, an urgent meeting by the board on Thursday demanded the management committee to present a comprehensive investigation addressing the letter for further decision and scrutiny.
“The NCAA was not fairly given time to make an assessment on her grievance and allegations. As an entity, there are protocols and structures to be followed, which Isak omitted before going public,” Nampa quoted Elliot as having said.
– Additional reporting by Nampa