NAMIBIA: Namfisa CEO to face charges


CHARGES are being finalised for a disciplinary hearing against suspended Namfisa CEO Rainer Ritter following the preliminary findings of an investigation by Ernst & Young.

Ritter was suspended from the Namibia Financial Institutions
Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) on March 10, immediately following a
month's leave for health reasons.

The board said his suspension had been based on a draft report on investigations conducted by auditing firm Ernst & Young.

A week before he was granted sick leave, a local weekly reported that
Ritter had been provided with 24-hour Police protection after he and
his family's lives were placed at risk when he suspended two senior
managers suspected of having alerted mainly Namibian-based, South
African financial institutions of imminent investigations.

This was reportedly after Ritter had got wind of irregularities at Namfisa from 2006 onwards.

The Chairman of the Namfisa Board of Directors, Rick Kukuri, yesterday confirmed to The Namibian that Ritter is still suspended, and that preparations are being made for the hearing.

He said a date has yet to be set, but expressed the hope that it would take place soon.

Asked how many people and who would be on the panel, Kukuri said he was
waiting for feedback in this regard and could not confirm the structure
of the panel.

The Namibian reliably learnt this weekend that Advocate Gerson Narib
will head the panel, but neither Narib nor Kukuri would confirm or deny

When asked whether Narib would be the prosecutor on the panel, Kukuri
only responded that several names had been put forward, and that he was
awaiting confirmation in this regard.

Ebben Kalondo, Head of Corporate Communications at Namfisa, also said
that the board was still preparing the panel and was in the process of
finalising the charges.

The board is dealing with the hearing and the investigations, and as
an organisation we are not involved at that level, she said.

Aside from information stating that Ritter's suspension was based on
Ernst & Young's initial findings, the charges against Ritter remain

Kukuri told The Namibian that charges have to be communicated
to him (Ritter) before they are communicated to any other parties, and
therefore, I can't disclose that information at the moment. He added
that the Ernst & Young report could also not be published because
it is still a work in progress, and we will review our position once
the final report is submitted.

When contacted for comment on his suspension and whether the charges
had been communicated to him, Ritter said that he was not talking to
the press.

Just talk to Namfisa, not to me, he said.

At this stage, according to reliable sources, charges appear to be
centred mainly around procedural administrative issues at the authority.

Responding to questions on whether any other suspensions or charges had
been made against any other Namfisa employees, Kukuri said that at the
moment, Ritter is the only one, but other future suspensions would also
depend on the outcomes of the final report.

Lilly Brandt, Namfisa's General Manager for Corporate Services, continues to act as CEO in the meantime.

The Namibia

Post published in: Economy

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