Tough report on Ezemvelo

2008-10-14 00:00

Some officials and employees at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) had become a law unto themselves due to “some systems not working within the organisation”, the members of the interim board have found, Comfort Ngidi of the caretaker board told the legislature’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) yesterday.

But he said the three-member caretaker board has established mechanisms aimed at turning the nature conservation entity around and recovering some of the funds lost due “to inappropriate behaviour by some individuals”.

He said this could lead to civil action against some staff.

Forty-seven EKZNW employees were recently fingered in a forensic probe into fraud and corruption at EKZNW.

Ngidi said the interim board resolved to remove the suspended board members of EKZNW from different organisations in which they represent EKZNW.

“In our view it is highly improper to have people sitting on behalf of the organisation when the organisation has already suspended them,” said Ngidi.

He acknowledged that the suspended members are challenging their suspension in court, adding: “from our side, we are proceeding as if nothing is happening because it does not concern us. We will only stop if the court tells us to stop … and they can still be returned to their positions if the court decides.”

The interim board also found that some of the parastatal’s assets were being under-utilised and that the entity was not properly marketed.

Environmental Affairs MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu told committee members that the position for EKZNW chief executive officer has already been advertised, adding that he hoped that by the beginning of next month a new CEO would have been appointed.

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