Controversial politico gets top tourism job

2012-09-17 22:37
Mpumlanga provincial government

Mpumlanga provincial government

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mbombela - Mpumalanga has appointed a controversial politician to head the provincial parks and tourism agency despite his role in attempts to sign away 32 of the province's game reserves as collateral in a massive offshore loans scheme 10 years ago.

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza and his MECs approved the appointment of Jacques Modipane as the chief executive of Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) during a recent cabinet meeting.

"Mr Modipane's appointment was approved by the Executive Council during its sitting of 5 September 2012. His appointment was with immediate effect," department of economic development, environment and tourism spokesperson Mohau Ramodibe told African Eye News Service.

Asked if Modipane's track record with the MTPA was considered, Ramodibe was quick to point out that the department's MEC Norman Mokoena was not part of the shortlisting or interviewing panel that appointed Modipane.

Altogether 10 candidates were shortlisted from a possible 52 people who applied.

In the past, Modipane resigned twice as provincial finance MEC and was once suspended from the ANC after he was implicated in the secret issue of six illegal promissory notes worth R1.3bn in 1998.

On 27 October 1998, he wrote to ANC Johannesburg headquarters and then president Nelson Mandela pleading his innocence.

Despite this, then Premier Mathews Phosa accepted his resignation in October 1998 after he instructed forensic auditors Gobodo to investigate the promissory notes scandal.

When Ndaweni Mahlangu replaced Phosa as the province's premier, he again appointed Modipane as an MEC.

On 12 May 2000, Mahlangu, however, had to ask Modipane again to resign after Gobodo’s final report "heavily implicated" Modipane in the scandal.

At least three of the notes, issued by the then Mpumalanga Parks Board (MPB), had the signature of Modipane and were allegedly issued to shady brokerage Fenetic Investments with his approval.

Fenetic's owner, Moshe Regenstreich, was wanted for fraud, diamond theft and dealing in chemical weapons. He was on the run from the Swiss police and Interpol at the time.

The deals between MPB and Fenetic were also branded illegal by then national finance minister Trevor Manuel and the Reserve Bank and were cancelled by Judge Willem Heath in July 1999.

Modipane first denied that it were his signatures and insisted they were electronically or manually forged.

Then MPB chief executive Allan Gray and two prominent provincial politicians close to Modipane, including former ANCYL provincial secretary James Nkambule, were arrested on 72 financial misconduct and fraud charges.

Gray died shortly after all his assets were auctioned off by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) while Nkambule died mysteriously in October 2010.

Before his appointment as MTPA chief executive, Modipane worked as the secretary to the provincial House of Traditional Leaders in Mbombela.

The MTPA has stumbled along since Modipane’s tenure as MEC and Gray at the head of the agency.

In 2008, the entire senior management resigned or were dismissed after less than one year in office.

Some of the departing managers were apparently pushed to resign as the MTPA board, under the leadership of Lassy Chiwayo, began to grill officials about apparent performance failures.

Chiwayo was later deployed to Mbombela local municipality to save it from ruin before the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
S

ince then, Premier Mabuza's cabinet has loaded the MTPA board with politicians like former Ehlanzeni district mayor Jerry Ngomane, who is the chairperson, and former Thaba Chweu mayor Clara Ndlovu, as Ngomane’s deputy.

They both have been removed as mayors in the past.

Since the MTPA has struggled with its budget, it has pulled out of funding the Metro FM Awards this year after it paid more than R11m to host the awards at the Mbombela stadium last year.

Mokoena, who heads department of economic development, environment and tourism, the MTPA's umbrella department, decided this year that the Metros would not be funded.

Last year, MTPA employees were afraid they will lose their benefits after contributions were not paid across to their medical schemes and provident funds.

At the time, former MTPA chief executive Charles Ndabeni sent a memo to all staff blaming the department for the delays in paying the schemes and funds.

When contacted for comment on Wednesday, board chairperson Ngomane promised to respond to written questions but had not done so by Thursday midday.\

Modipane could not be reached on his cellphone as it was off.

MTPA spokesperson Kholofelo Nkambule said the board believes security vetting processes were undertaken before Modipane was appointed.

"The results of the vetting cleared the chief executive officer, Mr Jacques Modipane, hence the confirmation of his appointment effective 10 September 2012," she said.

Read more on:    david mabuza  |  mbombela  |  local government  |  politics
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Boys, 6, die in hit-and-run

2014-04-19 22:37

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
48 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.