Police summon Nafwu leaders

28 June 2013 | Labour

WINDHOEKTOIVO NDJEBELA
Suspended Namibia Farm Workers Union (Nafwu) president, Ronell De Jong, and the union's former secretary-general, Alfred Angula, were yesterday picked up by the police at their houses, and taken in for questioning in connection with alleged questionable dealings at the union involving about N$430 000.
The two were told to leave after spending nearly two hours at the police station, Namibian Sun has established.
It was stated recently that bank overdrafts amounting to N$215 000 were taken in the name of the union for personal use. In December 2011, a further N$65 000 was withdrawn, while N$150 000 was allegedly taken in December 2012.
Angula landed in the country on Wednesday after returning from Geneva, where he had joined Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Doreen Sioka, for an international conference.
Namibian Sun has established that Angula was ordered by National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) president, Connie Pandeni, to abort his foreign trip and return to Namibia to answer to several issues.
Angula, who is now the acting secretary-general of NUNW after the dismissal of Evilastus Kaaronda last year, defied Pandeni's order by waiting until the official conclusion of his programme in Geneva, saying there was “no fire burning that I had to come put out”.
Pandeni yesterday refused to explain why she had recalled Angula from his Swiss trip.
Angula dismissed claims that N$65 000 belonging to Nafwu were found in his personal bank account, a claim made at a recent press conference by a group of disgruntled former union executives.
A total of N$430 000 belonging to the union is said to have been used for personal use by Nafwu officials, a discovery that led to the suspension of the union president, De Jong, and her deputy Asser Hendrick last week.
It was announced at the press conference that the pair was suspended at the instruction of the union's national executive committee.
Namibian Sun understands that a high-level meeting is slated for this weekend in Windhoek to decide the fate of Angula.
Angula said yesterday: “Allegations of money missing stems from long before our last congress and nobody raised the issue at congress, where I tabled a report of the union's workings.”
He added: “I have literally been out of the Nafwu office since July 2011, so I don't know why some of these things are only coming up now.”
Angula confirmed to taking a bank overdraft facility during his days at Nafwu - worth N$150 000, but said this was used to pay the bonuses of the union's employees.
“It's not true that money was withdrawn from the union's account. What actually happened is that we took an overdraft facility to pay the bonuses and there is nothing unusual about that.”
He accused dismissed former acting Nafwu secretary-general, Rocco Nguvauva, of seeking revenge after his sacking.
“I found him at the police station today (yesterday) with his cohorts, with whom they are accusing us of abusing union funds,” Angula said.
De Jong said the allegations were baseless.
“This is not funny anymore. I am ready to fight anything that is being thrown at me,” she said.

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