Re: Ezemvelo Investigated

Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:11 pm

One must be careful here...

As soon as unions become involved, in the current political climate, red flags should go up.

A lot of jostling and power play is going on in the workers sector in SA... :evil:

.gov rarely asks people to "pay back the money" is normally a scapegoat process, and all of this does not seem to be linked to failed conservation mandates, rather infighting. Notice how the Board is exonerated from any wrongdoing... O**


Re: Ezemvelo Investigated

Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:13 pm

Accused Ezemvelo officials’ fate settled on Monday

BY NCE MKHIZE, DEZEMBER 01 2014, 06:06

DURBAN — The embattled leaders of Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, implicated in a host of transgressions in a report tabled last week that recommended their suspension — will learn their fate on Monday.

CEO Bandile Mkhize and chief financial officer Darius Chitate were implicated in the report, produced for KwaZulu-Natal MEC for economic development and tourism Mike Mabuyakhulu on the state of affairs in the organisation.

Mr Mabuyakhulu sought to investigate claims that restructuring implemented last year had been irregular and unfair. The report found that the restructuring of executive and management salaries had cost Ezemvelo about R20m and was not budgeted for.

It also found that the restructuring process had "unduly benefited" management and certain employees while being "unfair" to low-ranking employees. It found that Dr Mkhize had misled the board, and put the organisation at financial risk.

It also found that Treasury regulations that prohibit expenditure without proper authorisation had been flouted.

The report recommended that Dr Mkhize and Mr Chitate be suspended and a thorough investigation be conducted.

On Friday, Dr Mkhize is said to have asked the board for the task team’s full report and to be given until Monday to respond.

Bheko Madlala, the spokesman for Mr Mabuyakhulu, said on Sunday: "The task team had made a recommendation. This matter is now in the hands of the board."

Comfort Ngidi, chairman of the Ezemvelo board, said a decision would be taken by the end of business on Monday. "I have been instructed by the board to be at Ezemvelo head office tomorrow to receive Dr Mkhize’s response and talk to staff."

Re: Ezemvelo Investigated

Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:19 pm ... -1.1789679

Re: Ezemvelo Investigated

Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:17 pm

Toko's link:

Ezemvelo’s fat cats and jobs for pals
December 2 2014 at 04:20pm
By Tony Carnie

Durban - Jobs for pals, fat cat pay hikes, an autocratic boss who sidelined those who stood up to him and a board of directors seemingly hoodwinked into approving massive pay-scale adjustments for thousands of conservation staff.

These are some of the allegations emerging from a government-appointed task team looking into the affairs of the conservation agency Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

On Thursday, despite giving reasons why their suspensions should not be formalised and extended, chief executive Bandile Mkhize and chief financial officer Darius Chitate were told by Ezemvelo’s board that they would be kept off the job pending the outcome of disciplinary inquiries.

Board chairman Comfort Ngidi said

Ebrahim Mulla, the finance manager, had been appointed as acting chief financial officer and Bheki Khoza, the executive director, as “caretaker” chief executive, until the board finalised the appointment of an acting executive.

Ngidi said the board was working towards having the staff repay their inflated salaries. They were trying to work out the amounts, taking into account factors including how much had been paid to the taxman.
I OL NM MARK BRASSELL Former Ezemvelo human resources planning manager Mark Brassell INDEPENDENT MEDIA

In a 300-page report, task team members Siphiwe Madondo, Nombuso Kheswa and Roshan Morar found that Ezemvelo’s top dogs and a handful of other employees benefited unduly from handsome pay hikes at the expense of almost 3 000 ordinary staff.

The damning report followed an investigation done at the behest of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu.

It found there was a “vast increase in salary packages” for executives even though their new job responsibilities had hardly changed.

Though the team’s terms of reference were limited, it called for a much broader investigation of claims of “nepotism, favouritism, breaches of company policy and procedures and supply chain management issues”.

And, apart from recommending disciplinary action against Mkhize and Chitate, the task team also found that the board of directors had failed to exercise adequate oversight of Ezemvelo’s financial affairs, exposing it to significant financial risk.

It said the provincial government should consider reconstituting the board to circumvent an “over-reliance” on the current chief executive and to consider whether certain board members and board committee chairmen had the “necessary qualities to act in the best interest of the organisation”.

“The board failed to act as reasonably expected in compliance with its fiduciary and legal duties,” the team found.

The restructuring was “unfair, unlawful and irrational” and rushed through in a way that had damaged the morale and productivity of staff.

Mkhize’s leadership style should also be investigated as it was “glaringly obvious” that he sidelined key executives who should have been at the centre of a restructuring process that eventually blew up in June when staff went on strike.

Board member Armstrong Ndlela said: “Executives were well paid and the labour was getting crumbs and now they wanted what they deserved.”

Whereas Mkhize first gave an assurance that the restructuring would cost no more than R3.5 million, this kept moving up – first to R6m, then R11m, R41m, R71m – and possibly R130m.

Task team chairman Madondo remarked: “Everyone is passing the buck and no one wants to own up... the problem here is that everyone is assuming that everyone knows what is going on – but everyone is doing their own thing.”

Chitate knew there was not enough money to push up pay scales for more than 3 000 staff, but would not confront Mkhize.

“When the CEO said, ‘Go look for funds,’ did you not tell him you do not have the money?” asked Madondo.

“That would be a career-restricting move,” responded Chitate.

On criticism of his board, Ngidi said board members had been asked to attend a course accredited by the Institute of Directors to gain additional training around financial governance.

“At the time this occurred it was a fairly new board... From the board’s point of view you have to take what your CEO tells you as correct, although there might be a suggestion that the CEO might have been a bit economical with the truth as regards funding.”

Mkhize said he could not comment. – Extra reporting by Sharika Regchand

The Mercury

Re: Ezemvelo Investigated

Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:19 pm

On criticism of his board, Ngidi said board members had been asked to attend a course accredited by the Institute of Directors to gain additional training around financial governance.

“At the time this occurred it was a fairly new board... From the board’s point of view you have to take what your CEO tells you as correct, although there might be a suggestion that the CEO might have been a bit economical with the truth as regards funding.”

This is the most worrying bit...

Eerie parallels with SANParks - can't be a coincidence?


Re: Ezemvelo Investigated

Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:12 pm

I wonder in how many places things like that are happening O-/

Re: Ezemvelo Investigated

Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:33 pm ... QcTjY5wva4

Mkhize continues to draw R1.6m salary

March 16 2015 at 02:48pm

Durban - Suspended Ezemvelo boss, Dr Bandile Mkhize, is to continue to remain at home after his enforced leave was extended indefinitely recently.

The move, questioned by his lawyer, means he continues to draw his R1.6 million salary while an investigation goes on.

Mkhize was suspended on December 1 by the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mike Mabuyakhulu.

He said Mkhize and his chief financial officer, Darius Chitate, would face disciplinary proceedings over the restructuring of management salaries (the so-called “migration” process) at a cost to Ezemvelo of about R20m.

This came after Mabuyakhulu’s appointment of a task team to investigate.

He said Treasury regulations prohibiting expenditure without following authorised process.

Earlier this month, Mkhize was informed in writing that his suspension would continue indefinitely, said his legal representative, Ivette Calitz.

“A continued, indefinite period of suspension is not permissible in terms of labour law,” Calitz said.

“Generally, a period of 90 days is stipulated - or if not stipulated, is regarded as reasonable. Ezemvelo do not appear to be abiding by applicable legislation and fair labour principles.

“We consider the continued suspension unreasonable, and we have only been given extremely vague reasons for his continued suspension.”

She also queried the terms of the suspension itself.

“In terms of his contract with Ezemvelo, Dr Mkhize had to report directly to the board, and execute all instructions of the board. The entire migration process was overseen by the board.

“Therefore we cannot understand why action is being taken against Dr Mkhize, but the board which ordered the process, and oversaw the process, is still in place.

“Only Mkhize and the Chief Financial Officer (Chitate) are being pursued.”

She added: “We do not think there is anything substantial in the task team’s report that points to any malpractice on Dr Mkhize’s part. The report makes bold statements but does not offer firm evidence of how it came to those conclusions.”

Mkhize, who took up the chief executive officer (CEO) post at Ezemvelo in 2008, was feeling the strain of having had his reputation impugned and being denied an opportunity to clear his name, Calitz said.

“We have been given no indication of what charges he faces, or any date when a hearing may be held.”

Neither Mabuyakhulu’s office nor Ezemvelo would provide details of the case against Mkhize, what charges he faced, or when any disciplinary procedures would be held.

Mabuyakhulu’s spokesman, Bheko Madlala, referred all queries to Ezemvelo.

Ezemvelo spokesman, Musa Mntambo, said: “The issue of disciplinary process of our CEO, Dr Mkhize, is an internal matter and will not be discussed in the media until it has been finalised. This is done out of respect of all stakeholders involved.”

Two weeks after Mkhize’s suspension, Mabuyakhulu announced that the former head of SANParks, David Mabunda, had been appointed acting CEO of Ezemvelo.

It has emerged that the six-month contract involved Mabunda’s consultancy, Nselenduna Consulting.

“It is standard practice for professionals to have their salaries paid in tax-efficient entities,” Mabunda said in a written reply to questions.

Mntambo said: “It is not the first time that Ezemvelo enters such a contractual arrangement. The agreement was cleared by our legal services and the board.”

Ezemvelo refused to answer questions on how much Nselenduna Consulting is being paid for the six-month contract, or provide details on the cost of further perks for Mabunda.

A senior inside source told the Daily News that the consultancy was being paid R120 000 a month.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source also questioned the awarding of the contract. In terms of procurement rules, a contract of this value (at the alleged value of R720 000 for the six months) should have been granted via an open tender process. There is no indication this was done.

Ezemvelo was invited to respond to this claim, but had not done so by the time of publication.

On a report that Mabunda has been given furnished accommodation and VIP bodyguards, and a luxury sedan had been ordered, Mntambo said: “The furniture, at a cost of R60 000, was bought for Mantuma Resort in Mkhuze Game Reserve.

“The items were then released for the use of the CEO for a time being, and they will be returned to the resort when his contract comes to an end.”

On the car, Mabunda said, “I have not ordered any car and don’t need any. I use my personal Ford Ranger DC.”

Concerning the bodyguards, Mabunda said, “The security situation is real and serious. It is not up for public discussion.”

Daily News

Re: Ezemvelo Investigated

Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:44 pm

Furniture, bodyguards..... 0*\

Disappointing, Dr Mabunda! :evil:

But that is how .gov rolls...suspension with full pay....ironically, most officials would take that and keep quiet! :shock:

Lots of politics, and not good for conservation...SANParks Board, MTPA Board...KZN board next! 0*\

Re: Ezemvelo Investigated

Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:57 pm

So sad. Any government department operates like that with the thought thats its ok. They are only interested in STATUS and getting fatter

Re: Ezemvelo Investigated

Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:55 am

Alf wrote:So sad. Any government department operates like that with the thought thats its ok. They are only interested in STATUS and getting fatter
Agreed \O Sad state for this country unfortunately O/ O/