The History of PAN


The earliest minutes available in the archives of the Psychological Assocation of Namibia (PAN) date back to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of 6 October 1987. The minutes were still conducted in Afrikaans. Some of the attendees were noted as being A. Kotze, P. Bauermeister, H. Raath, F. Hanekom, E. Mayne, L. Grobler, T. Kruger, H. Lösch, T. Harris, S. Verhoef and Mr. Mey. During the above-mentioned AGM, it was proposed that the name of the association should be changed to the Psychological Association of SWA/Namibia. This proposal was voted out by 4 in favour and 9 against it. Possible changes to the PAN constitution were discussed.

An Executive Committee was hosted on 21 October 1991. During this meeting, it was found that a certain Dr. Verhoef did not complete the minutes of the previous meeting. He was instructed to complete these.

On 25 November 1991, PAN became the proud owners of an own postal box: 6947, Windhoek. In that same year, SWARITE decided to sponsor PAN with 10,000 photocopies per year. The PAN constitution was also translated into English in 1991.

On 25 July 1992, PAN hosted a workshop on cross-cultural psychology. The workshop started at 13h30. The AGM was held on the same day at 16h00. A function followed the AGM as from 18h00.

In March 1992, psychologist Willem Annandale organized the design and logo of the letterhead of PAN. In the same year, PAN was registered on the NBC database.

On 24 July 1992, PAN had the total of N$ 1,039.83 in their bank account. The annual membership fee for 1992 was N$ 15.00. A complaint read that only 21 members paid their fees.

On 7 June 1993, psychiatrist Dr. Naslofski held a talk for PAN members regarding behavioural problems.

On 5 July of the same year, Dr. Kleenberg spoke to PAN members about counseling to battered wifes.

On 6 September, PAN hosted a talk about the problems the law professionals experience with psychologists.

From 2-6 August 1993, PAN hosted a workshop on mental health, including topics like organic brain syndrome, substance abuse, epilepsy and mood disorders.

On 4 October 1993, a talk on Homeopathy was held by PAN. The entrance fee: R2.00 !

On 14 December 1995, the PAN AGM was held in the Agra Boardroom in Windhoek. PAN was by then already inactive. The member ship fees were N$ 30.00 per person.

In October 1996, Willem Annandale visited the United States of America on behalf of PAN. During the same year, PAN also complaint formally to Telecom about the mistakes in the Medical Listings of the telephone directory. PAN also requested Telecom to only allow PAN members to publish their details in the listings.

In 1998, the PAN membership fees went up to N$ 120.00 per member. The PAN finances grew to

N$ 8,070.23 by end 1999.

In September 2000, PAN reported on the ‘prescription of medicine’ course that started at the University of the Witwatersrand.

In 2000 it also would become possible for PAN to rent an office in the building of the Ministry of Health & Social Services at the rate of between N$ 4,000 and N$ 12,000 per month.

Shortly thereafter PAN became dormant.

On 26 April 2006, PAN hosted a meeting at the Thüringerhof Hotel in Windhoek in an attempt to revive it. Five people were tasked to look into this process and getting going. These people were: Dr. Jürgen Hoffmann, Willem Annandale, Hilda Lösch, Nikki Meiring and Manfred Janik.

This group held regular meetings. The Council register was scrutinized and a list of registered psychologists was compiled for a thorough database. The group met for the first time on 17 May 2006 and set the first AGM date to be held on 20 July 2006. Priority would have been to elect an Executive Committee into place. Some other agenda points included: working roles, purpose of PAN, newsletter, Telecom listings, tariffs and PAN membership fees. A list of registered psychologists was submitted to Telecom. On 5 June 2006 a second working committee meeting was held.

During the AGM on 20 July 2006, Mr. Hein Venter of Paramount Health and MAFAF spoke about medical aids in Namibia. Mr. Venter was surprised to see that Namibia had so many psychologists.

Hilda Lösch made the first alarming noises about CPD on this AGM. Willem Annandale reminded the meeting that South African psychologists earned 50% more than Namibians. He also mentioned that even general practitioners in Namibia receive more money for therapy than psychologists do.

The first Executive Committee was elected to be: Hilda Lösch, Dr. Jürgen Hoffmann, Edwina Mensah-Husselmann, Talita Vermaak, Janke Cunningham, Käthe Burkhardt and Manfred Janik.

PAN reconnected to the workings of the Social Work and Psychology Council of Namibia. Elzan Frank from South Africa presented two workshops – on dreams and attachment theory.

PAN continued talking to Telecom about the Medical Listings. Talks with PSEMAS started. A negotiation process with regard to tariffs started off with NAMAF. Frequent e-mail communication started between the Executive Committee and PAN members. PAN addressed several institutions who recommended South African psychologists for services rather than Namibians. PAN also reported possible irregularities in the psychology profession to Council. The newsletter, PANORAMA, was activated. Press releases were published in daily newspapers about PAN and psychology in general in Namibia. The PAN constitution became revised. PAN also completed the scopes of practice for psychologists and psychological counselors and submitted it to Council. PAN clarified the use of the DSM-IV diagnoses in Namibia, instead of the ICD-10, as used in South Africa. PAN started also to actively liaise internationally.

PAN hosted two well-attended General Meetings in 2007 and also started looking for sponsorships. An update on the 2007 and 2008 activities will be presented on the 2008 AGM and submitted to the PAN archive. For sure, PAN is active and going like never before!

(With grateful recognition to Manfred Janik, who compiled the above in 2008.)