The management committee of the Henties Bay Municipal Council last week suspended the head of corporate services, economic development and urban management, Tony Scholtz, over an allegedly dubious land deal.
According to the chairperson of the management committee, Michael Skini, the incident has its origins in 2008 when a client bought two erven from the municipality by private treaty. The name of the woman is known to the municipality, but cannot be revealed during the course of an internal investigation.
To the person's dismay, the two erven were advertised in newspapers again, calling for possible bids. The owner asked the municipality for an explanation.
"She claimed that no one from the administration came back to her since she deposited the required amount of N$15 000, to inform her of what to do next. After an enquiry a sales agreement was sent to her to sign and return it with the remaining outstanding amount on the erven," Skini said.
While the town planning and property administration department was waiting for the return of the sales agreement from the purchaser, the Deeds Office was informed that the two erven had been registered in two different people's names.
"The municipality made a follow-up with Kinghorn Associates but there were no records of such transfer of erven to these two new owners," said Skini.
Scholtz was informed of the matter by the town planning and property administrator. He allegedly got in contact with the original buyer and promised her two other erven in the new extension.
An internal investigation so far has shown that there was no council approval for repossessing or selling the erven to the new owners; neither was there proof of ministerial approval; no indication of a deposit on the erven by the new owners and no trace of cancellation of the previous transaction with a resolution.
"The files containing the information cannot be found in the registry and were allegedly last seen in Scholtz office," according to Skini.
Based on information received, the management committee was convinced to act in accordance with the Local Authority Act and suspend Scholtz till the investigation is completed.
Scholtz could not be reached for comment yesterday, as his cellphone number was "currently not reachable".