15 April 2013

Namibia: ACC Zooms in On Coenie Botha

Walvis Bay — Former chairman of the regional electricity distributor Erongo Red, Coenie Botha, will soon know whether he will be investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), following the submission of a report compiled by the ACC's coastal branch last week, New Era learnt yesterday.

A report on Botha, who resigned from the board of directors of Erongo Red earlier this month, was submitted to the ACC head office for further scrutiny.

The source said that officials at the head office of the ACC would now have a look at the report before deciding whether the findings are strong enough to open an official investigation against Botha.

Sources said last week that Botha was allegedly asked to resign by the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN). It is alleged that he did not declare his interest during a procurement process that took place at Erongo Red.

The source could however not confirm when exactly the incident occurred but said the company is directly linked to Botha.

Other allegations are that Botha apparently changed the institution's tender process dealing with procurement so that the board of directors could have the final say.

When approached for comment last week, Botha confirmed his resignation, but did not want to disclose the reasons behind his resignation. "Yes, I resigned and wish not to say more since it is a private matter," Botha said curtly.

Botha, who served for several years as Erongo Red's chairman through the Swakopmund Municipality, was axed in August last year from the position along with Willie Rench following a council resolution.

They both represented the Swakopmund Municipality on the board. However, within weeks after the Swakopmund Municipality removed him as board member and chairman of Erongo Red, Botha rejoined Erongo Red.

He was appointed by the Walvis Bay Municipality and again voted chairman following the return of the Walvis Bay Municipality to Erongo Red last year.

In October 2010, then Walvis Bay mayor Uilika Nambahu announced the council's withdrawal as a shareholder in Erongo Red and withdrew the town council's representatives on the Erongo Red board of directors with immediate effect.

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