Paratus in racism storm

15 December 2017 Author  
Officials from office equipment company, Canocopy, a unit of Paratus Namibia, were this week left red-faced after an email with racial overtones was leaked on social media.
A senior Canocopy official is alleged to have written an email to another senior staff member saying that he had found white technicians, as earlier agreed with an official named Werner.
The email, written on 13 December, purportedly by Rigardo Kuhn to Werner Lassen said Kuhn had managed to find three white men to work as technicians as previously agreed.
“I got three technicians, all white guys like you asked. We are going to work well next year, now that we are one tribe. No more nonsense,” Kuhn is alleged to have said in the mail.
Susan Coetzee, the Chief Human Resource Officer at Paratus Telecom, said a full investigation was underway regarding the offensive email that was sent out to Canocopy staff.
Coetzee said disciplinary and legal action will be taken following the outcome of the investigation. She said Paratus management does not agree with the emails.
“Clarification will be provided, as the investigations continue,” she said.
Paratus Namibia CEO, Barney Harmse, said the email that was supposedly sent by Kuhn a Senior Technician at Canocopy and that was addressed to Werner Lassen the MD at Canocopy Namibia, was a hoax. 
“We can inform you with absolute certainty and confidence that the email was not sent by Mr Rigardo Kuhn. The matter is still under investigation, but I have to point [out] that it is very easy for someone to send an email on behalf of someone else. Impersonating that person for whatever reason, even in an email, is technically not difficult,” Harmse said.
He said results of a technical investigation have proved beyond doubt that the email came from a server in the United States.
He further said that the company does not know the person who sent the email claiming to be Kuhn, adding that the incident has created chaos at the company.
“We have decided to make available a N$1 million reward for information that can lead to the successful prosecution and conviction of this individual. We are very serious about this reward,” Harmse said.

Related items


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

Contact Us

Windhoek Observer House
c/o John Meinert & Rossini Street
Windhoek West
Tel: +264 61 411 800
Fax: +264 61 226 098