Businesswoman controversy !
At the Gala Banquet, three more Businesswoman Awards were announced before the main Namibian Businesswoman of the Year award.
Owner of Namedia, Natasja Beyleveld received the award for Young Businesswoman.
Accepting her award, Beyleveld made a fiery speech, urging all women to join the struggle for emancipation and progress.
In the category Government, Ericah Shafudah, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance received a Businesswoman Award, with Cynthia Martin-Haihambo receiving a Businesswoman Award as Business Owner, and Jantje Daun, a Businesswoman Award in the category Private & Corporate Sector.
Shortly after the announcement of the main award, the Namibian Businesswoman of the Year 2013, it was brought to the attention of the organisers that this result does not conform to the results of the judging process.
Monday, this week, the trial of the apparent inconsistency was immediately investigated. A technical discrepancy between the Award rules and criteria, and the final reconciliation by the auditors, Ernst & Young, revealed that, indeed, the main award was conferred erroneously.
Since this had a major impact on events to follow, it was communicated to all parties. A final resolution from the appointed judges determined that the situation must be rectified, to maintain the future credibility of the judging process.
This sealed the fate of the outcome and it was decided to follow a transparent, consultative process, to get all parties informed, and to put the truth on the table.
The result was that Mrs Ericah Shafudah was named the new recipient of the Namibian Businesswoman of the Year award.
She was the nominee that scored highest in the judging for the main award, and she was ranked so by a majority of judges.
She was in fact, the correct winner of the main award.
This dramatic change in results could only be communicated to Mrs Shafudah on Wednesday at which point she was at first reluctant to accept the award that is rightfully hers.
She realised that a rescission of the earlier announcement carries huge implications and said it is not her intention to damage the award’s reputation in any way. But after some consideration and consultation with the judges, she agreed to accept the award. Mrs Shafudah makes her first appearance as the Namibian Businesswoman of the Year 2013, at a breakfast meeting for members of the Economist Businesswoman Club, this Friday morning, 18 October.