Customs commissioner suspended

Customs and Excise Commissioner, Bevan Simataa, has been suspended, amid graft allegations, the Windhoek Observer has established.
 
Reliable sources within the Ministry of Finance alleged this week that Simataa had been removed from his position, pending a full investigation.
 
It could not be established whether Simataa was suspended on full pay.
 
Control Taxation Officer, Thandi Hambira, has since taken over from Simataa in an acting capacity.
 
Hambira refused to be drawn into commenting, saying that she has not been given the permission by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ericah Shafudah, to say anything.
 
“It is not because I do not want to talk to you about it, but in terms of any query from the media, I will not talk to you until the permanent secretary gives me a go ahead,” Hambira said.
 
Shafudah was unavailable for comment, as she was said to be in a series of meetings all week.
 
Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein, however, confirmed that Simataa had been suspended.
 
“Look, the matter is true, but it is an administrative matter, which was dealt with by the Public Service Commission. Contact the permanent secretary about it,” Schlettwein said.
 
In an interview with the Windhoek Observer, an angry Simataa said that he will not talk about the matter.
 
“The permanent secretary is the accounting officer of the ministry, and she is also the one that makes these decisions. I do not want to talk to you about this matter, even if you insist. You will not get anything from me lady,” Simataa said.
 
Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairperson, Markus Kampungu, confirmed to the Windhoek Observer that an investigation had been launched on Simataa.
 
“The provision in the Act requires us that when the ministry wants to suspend someone, they consult us and hand over the matter to the Public Service Commission to recommend the suspension.
 
“This is so that the person can get out of the office, so they cannot tamper with the investigation.
 
“There are suspicious dealings, which he has been involved in, but talk to the PS about it,” Kampungu said.

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