WINDHOEK, 23 AUG – Gibeon Constituency Councillor Jeremia van Neel has denied forcing the management of Samuel Veldskoen Primary School to appoint his wife as chief matron, a position she has acted in since 2013.
Concerned residents of Kriess Settlement in the Gibeon Constituency approached Nampa with concerns that the councillor used his position to coerce the school’s board and management to appoint his wife in the position.
In an interview with Nampa on Tuesday, Van Neel said he acted in his official capacity and will do anything to protect his wife.
“For my wife I can fight tooth and nail. She has been acting in that capacity since 2013,” said Van Neel.
He went on to say he did not force them to appoint her.
“I told them if she is not capable, then don’t let her act. If she is capable, appoint her or advertise the post for others who are capable to apply.”
Asked if he was not interfering with the operations of the school, the Member of Parliament flatly denied any form of interference.
“Even if it was someone else I would have done the same. It’s not about her. If she is not capable, they must advertise the post for others to apply. How do you justify a person acting in a position for five years? Is that what the Labour Act says? So because she is my wife, she must not enjoy the fruits of this country?” the MP wanted to know.
Contacted for comment, acting education director in the Hardap Region, Ehrenfriede Stephanus said she was not aware of complaints about Van Neel approaching the school management.
She, however, indicated that all vacant positions in the region will be advertised next week.
“All positions that were approved by the Office of the Prime Minister will be advertised,” she said, adding that the position in question will also be advertised.
“Those who qualify must apply. We don’t want to favour anybody.” – NAMPA