Jooste refuses to allow Mulunga suspension

Public enterprises minister Leone Jooste has said that the Namcor board should institute formal disciplinary measures against the managing director Immanuel Mulunga and the IT senior manager Bonny Konjore.

The Namcor board has already sent the two on special leave pending investigations into how they handled a N$2,2 million lubricants tender given to Hyrax Oil, a Malaysian company.

Jooste's letter dated 18 December and addressed to Kandjoze was in response to a request by the Namcor board to take action against Mulunga.

Documents made available to The Villager show that Mulunga handpicked Hyrax Oil to replace Sasol whose agreement with Namcor expired in June 2017 and was extended for six months pending the bidding process to look for a new supplier.

Namcor is rolling out its retail campaign, and the tender was meant to re-evaluate the lubricants product offerings regarding pricing and product type.

The board also accuses Mulunga of giving the tender to his friend and for pushing that the process should be speeded up.

Jooste says he does not approve of the board's decision to suspend Mulunga and that the board acted above its powers when it suspended Konjore.

On 12 December 2017, Mulunga suspended the commercial manager Kosmos Damaseb and asked the head of the unit, Ludwig Kapingana of a pending disciplinary action over bungled Tsandi Service Station.

The board, however, reversed Damaseb's suspension and revoked Mulunga's proposed disciplinary action against Kapingana.

NO PROOF OF ALLEGATIONS

In his letter to Kandjoze, Jooste says that the board did not prove most of the allegations against Mulunga adequately.

"Our office went through the evidence provided by the board of emails from various staff and the minutes of different procurement committee which seem to have been set up procedural in line with the Procurement Act no 15 of 2015, and we did not find any serious evidence of the contravention of the law," Jooste says.

He points out that a copy of the minutes of the 27 November board meeting that resolved to suspend Mulunga does not provide enough:

· substantive reasons as to why the allegations by the board cannot be investigated while the managing director is in office

· substantive evidence and or facts that the suspension of the managing director will lead to his dismissal

· the elements of corruption supported by solid evidence which is likely to lead to criminal investigation.

Jooste said they perused the allegation in the letter and did not find any serious evidence that substantiates them.

"This request does not meet the requirements for suspension and I, therefore, do not approve the request to suspend the managing director of Namcor at this point," Jooste says.

He further says that he recommends the board to investigate the allegations of irregularities still while the managing director is at work.

"On suspending the IT senior manager, the board did not provide any evidence of why such an employee must be suspended," Jooste further said.

He added that the "request seems to exceed the power of the board".

"The request for the suspension of Mr Bonny Konjore does not have merit and is therefore not approved," Jooste informs the board.

Jooste denies that he was ignoring the various allegations or condoning them.

He said if the board wishes to have the allegations investigated as per section 29 of the Public Enterprises Act, the chair should forward a formal request through Kandjoze's office.

The Namcor has announced that they had asked Deloitte to carry out a forensic audit, while Mulunga is away.

Mulunga told the New Era on Monday that he welcomed the probe since he had not done anything wrong.

“There have been a lot of things said about me and I am looking forward to the outcome because really I haven’t done anything wrong,” he was quoted saying.

 

Kandjoze was unreachable for comment on his mobile.