Namases breaks silence

03 July 2015 Author  

front Namases 3 JulyFormer Managing Director of Air Namibia Theo Namases has come out all guns blazing to defend her name.This follows media reports this week that accused her of illicitly extending Air Namibia’s contract with Paragon Investment Holdings.

 

The alleged irregularities, according to the media reports, were unearthed after a forensic audit conducted by Deloitte Namibia on the instruction of the Air Namibia Board of Directors.

Namases said in a press release issued on Thursday that she would hold the Air Namibia board responsible for the leak.

She charged that the board’s actions and/or inactions following publication of the article spoke volumes about the kind of people at the airline.

Sources close to the board revealed that Deloitte prepared a special report at a cost of N$700,000 prior to the forensic audit, but its findings and recommendations never saw the light of day.

The forensic audit reportedly cost the national airliner approximately N$6.3 million.

Namases said Air Namibia never disclosed the forensic audit to either herself or her lawyers, despite the fact that the company ostensibly suspended and charged her based on findings and recommendations of the forensic report.

“[This] despite having requested a copy of the forensic report and other particulars in order to prepare my defence,” she said.

The former MD said that the article, published by the daily The Namibian, created the impression that an investigation took place and that it found her guilty of improper and or corrupt conduct and that she allegedly extended a contract for the provision of services by Paragon Investment Holdings.

“I want to state categorically that I did not solicit or receive any funds from Paragon and/or Mr Desmond Amunyela or any other person for the funeral of my dear mother or for any other purpose.

“In fact I am thoroughly disgusted and hurt that people would stoop so low in order to tarnish my name.

“For the record, this allegation was never put to me by the forensic investigators and I was never given an opportunity to respond to this,” she said.

Namases explained that Air Namibia initially started the investigation as a focused exercise, before it ended up being an investigation about almost everything at the airline.

“When those who initiated the investigation could not find fault with Theo Namases the investigation had to be broadened in the misguided hope that they could find something against me.

“Deloitte Namibia consulted many stakeholders and interviewed many employees of Air Namibia, including myself.

“However, from the charge sheet that I received, the said newspaper article and other grapevine whisperings, it appears there were specific allegations and some adverse findings against me in the forensic report where I was never consulted and my views were never sought,” she noted.

Namases, who apparently received an offer to return to her position at Air Namibia, which she declined, gave the following reasons for her choice to rather accept an exit package and move on.

“Firstly, the matter has dragged on longer than I expected and I am just tired and want to move on with my life.

“Secondly, it is impossible for me to return to Air Namibia and work with the same board. Trust between the board and I will be difficult, and this is Namibia.

“Thirdly, as head of the national airline, I should have a healthy working relationship with the industry regulator, the Directorate of Civil Aviation. Again, I believe circumstances have damaged the relationship with key personnel within the DCA beyond repair,” she said.

She said returning to her old job was not as straight-forward as people might think.

“I reiterate what I said in 2014 when I was suspended, that I am innocent and that my suspension had no basis in law.

“I challenged the Air Namibia Board of Directors to call a disciplinary hearing and to prove what they alleged. For well over a year they avoided this,” Namases said.

She proposed that the company should recoup whatever settlement she and Air Namibia reached from the board members concerned.

 “Not through their ineptness but through vengeance, personal vendettas and greed have they caused not only reputational damage to Air Namibia and me, but serious financial losses for Air Namibia,” Namases said.

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