SA Tourism has withdrawn Nomasonto Ndlovu from her acting CEO role following an investigation into bribery allegations against her.
JOHANNESBURG – SA Tourism has withdrawn Nomasonto Ndlovu from her acting CEO role following an investigation into bribery allegations against her.
This is according to the embattled department, which has once again been embroiled in yet another sponsorship scandal following news that celebrated SA comedian Trevor Noah was set to pocket R33 million for a tourism advertisement campaign.
It was reported that the Tourism Business Council of South Africa is currently “in talks” with the heavyweight comedian, but nothing has been confirmed as yet.
On Saturday, SA Tourism announced that it had decided to withdraw Ndlovu from her acting role while also retaining her previous position as chief operations officer.
According to the chairperson of the SA Tourism board, Tim Harris, the investigation stems from recent media reports suggesting that Ndlovu had failed to follow internal public management and finance policies.
“On May 9, 2023, during Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban, media reports appeared on allegations against Ms Nomasonto Ndlovu, who was acting as chief executive officer for SA Tourism. The allegations had been lodged on the SA Tourism anonymous whistle-blower hotline in January 2023, based on a trip undertaken in December 2022,” Harris said.
He statred that initially the board had decided to retain her in her position until all the investigations were completed.
“Following an initial inquiry, the board made the decision to retain Ms Ndlovu in her acting position subject to the completion of an investigation that had been initiated through internal audit prior to the board’s term of office. The investigation, by an outsourced forensic investigator, was to determine whether all internal policies, as well as the prescripts of the Public Finance Management Act, had been followed.
“The board has received and deliberated on the investigator’s report that recommends that ‘appropriate remedial action be initiated’ relating to the conduct of three individuals that were investigated, including Ms Ndlovu. The board resolved to accept the report’s recommendations and delegate them to the Human Capital and Remuneration Committee of the board for implementation and to withdraw Ms Ndlovu’s appointment as acting chief executive officer. She reverts to her position as the chief operations officer for the entity,” he added.
As such, Harris said the board has subsequently appointed Nombulelo Guliwe as the new acting CEO.
“We have requested the current chief financial officer, Ms Nombulelo Guliwe, to fulfil the acting role as chief executive officer while the recruitment of a full-time CEO is ongoing. The minister’s occurrence has been received in this regard,” he said.
Earlier this year, SA Tourism came under fire after media reports revealed that the South African government was planning to splurge on a nearly R1bn deal with English Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur in the hopes of attracting tourists to the country.