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Sinvula loses disciplinary bid

2022-07-21  Maria Amakali

Sinvula loses disciplinary bid

Suspended Grootfontein municipality CEO Kisco Sinvula has failed in his attempt to stop his disciplinary hearing from taking place.

High Court Judge George Coleman informed Sinvula yesterday that his case did not meet the necessary requirements for it to be heard on an urgent basis.

Thus, the court struck the case from the roll, and deemed it finalised. 

Sinvula approached the court seeking an interdict after he was furnished with a notice for a disciplinary hearing on 30 counts of misconduct. 

These allegations range from insubordination, abuse of power, violations of the Local Authorities Act of 1992, violations of the Procurement Act, corruption, forgery, misleading and misrepresentation of facts, negligent trading, utterances and violations of the labour law, racketeering and the misuse of public funds.

The hearing was scheduled to take place from 19 to 22 July 2022 at the municipal council chambers.

He also wanted an order reviewing and setting aside the council’s decision to appoint lawyer Frank Köpplinger to inquire into the allegations of misconduct against him. 

In his court documents, Sinvula claims that the council did not get the line minister’s approval before appointing Köpplinger. Furthermore, making use of a report compiled by Henry Shimutwikeni on his alleged misconduct. He claims Shimutwikeni was unlawfully appointed as an investigator.

He said the council is not following the law. 

“The rules are clear that the person who may charge me is the person who may suspend me in terms of section 29(6) of the Act,” said Sinvula.

He added that for him to be charged, the minister should first give prior approval after having been satisfied with the charges. 

In the review application, Sinvula is requesting the court to set aside the council’s decision to suspend him on 24 March and appoint Shimutwikeni as the investigator in his case. 

“Any steps, reports, and or charges prepared by the third respondent (Shimutwikeni) as a result of the decision by the first respondent (council) to appoint the third respondent on an unknown date as the investigator responsible for collecting evidence and leading an inquiry against the applicant be and are hereby reviewed, corrected and set aside,” requested Sinvula.

He claims the council failed to get the minister’s approval before suspending him as is required by law. In addition, he had no knowledge that the council was investigating him and had solicited the services of Shimutwikeni. 

He said he only became aware of the investigations and the compiled report from Shimutwikeni when contacted by journalists from this paper. Sinvula is yet to receive the report from the council on the outcome of the investigations.

Responding to Sinvula’s application, acting CEO Sarie Hangara said he is basing his application on an ungazetted law, which is yet to be operational.

She said the review application is unnecessary as Sinvula’s suspension is not permanent. It was done to make way for investigations against him.

Sinvula can still be cleared of all the allegations. But due process needed to be followed first, she said. Hangara claims that at the time Sinvula launched his application, no charges were levelled against him. He has also failed to make use of internal channels to voice his concerns before going to court, the acting CEO said. Thus, his application should be dismissed. 

 -mamakali@nepc.com.na


2022-07-21  Maria Amakali

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