The Namibian (Windhoek)

3 December 2012

Namibia: Labour Ministry Responds to Fraudulent SMS

THE Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has condemned a text message doing the rounds aimed at selling information for money.

Paulus Ashipala, the ministry’s spokesperson, says: “The public is hereby warned to take heed of these unscrupulous elements who are masquerading as ministerial officials with the primary aim of money making.”

In the SMS, someone claiming to be one Jackson Immanuel wrote: “I am Jackson Immanuel from the Ministry of Labour and hereby would like to tell you a little secretive (sic) news about an aptitude test that you are about to write at WVTC on December 14.”

The person claims that because the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare is responsible for setting the multiple-choice section of the question paper, “I’ll therefore be able to provide you with the precise duplicate question paper if we are to reach a certain agreement.”

Ashipala says the ministry does not have an employee by the name of Jackson Immanuel.

Moreover, the section which deals with aptitude tests is staffed by psychologists and psychological counsellors registered with the Social Work and Psychology Council of Namibia.

He said these people have a professional obligation to maintain the utmost confidentiality. “Safe keeping of psychometric tests is a priority which is engraved into our professional routine from undergraduate training, internship up to full-fledged practice.”

Ashipala says anyone who claims to be in possession of the tests must have stolen the tests. “In fact it is illegal to be in possession of the tests if one is not registered as a psychologist or psychological counsellor with the referred council.”

According to him, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare only administers aptitude tests to a pre-selected group of candidates from local colleges. “The Ministry does not have the contact details of the candidates. Therefore our officials cannot possibly contact the candidates.”

He says they maintain a high level of professionalism. “We would like to assure our stakeholders that our ministry contacts its psychological related activities with the utmost professional conduct in line with the provisions of the Social Work and Psychology Act, 2004.”

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