http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/ ... t-20150917Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife boss out
Jonathan Erasmus, The Witness
Durban - Nearly a year after the head of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife was placed on suspension, a settlement has been reached.
Dr Bandile Mkhize, who was suspended in December 2014 for his role in the implementation of a new organisational structure at the provincial environmental body, has walked away with an undisclosed settlement and his credibility intact.
Mkhize confirmed he had “parted ways” with the organisation.
At the date of resignation, Mkhize had served just over one year of his second five-year contract. His contract was extended in the first half of 2014 after he had already served one five-year term.
According to the organisation’s 2013/14 annual report, his annual package amounted to R2.005 million.
“I am still contemplating my future. I have been involved in issues pertaining to the environment for most of my working life, so I will most likely remain in this area,” said Mkhize.
He said he was in “no position” to disclose the settlement agreement, nor would he disclose whether the agreement included his contract being paid out.
In an official statement, Ezemvelo spokesperson Musa Mntambo said the board and Mkhize had “parted ways amicably”, with Mkhize having resigned effectively as of September 4.
“The board’s decision was based on its desire to ensure that the organisation becomes stable. The board further noted that the instability was causing strain to the Ezemvelo brand and also attracting unnecessary negative publicity.
“The settlement is, without a doubt, in the best interests of the organisation and will allow the organisation to focus on its conservation mandate without any distractions,” said Mntambo.
Mkhize was suspended along with his chief financial officer, Darius Chitate, who had his charges withdrawn early this year and is back at work.
Dr David Mabunda would remain the acting CEO until a new CEO is appointed.
According to the 2013/14 Annual Report, the entity embarked on “an exercise to design a new structure for the organisation” in 2009. It was approved by the KZN Department of Agriculture, and Environmental Affairs MEC Meshack Radebe in October 2013. The report said the “protracted staff realignment process” had caused “considerable stress and upset for our employees”, impacting service delivery.
The process was halted in June 2014, pending an investigation into the new structure.
A new structure has since been developed and is currently being considered by Ezemvelo’s board.