Nafcoc boss fired ‘over Gallagher deal’

2011-08-13 13:31

The National Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry ­(Nafcoc) has fired its chairperson Duma Makanda for opposing a ­decision to acquire the Gallagher Convention Centre.

City Press understands the ­decision to axe him was taken at a­ meeting of Nafcoc’s council, the organisation’s highest decision-making body, on July 29.

Makanda this week declined to comment.

His axing followed the resignation of Nafcoc’s Mpumalanga ­constituency, which in April split from the mother body after a squabble over the acquisition of the convention centre, situated in Midrand.

Free State and KwaZulu-Natal also split from Nafcoc last year.

Nafcoc’s Mpumalanga chair­person Sydney Kunene said ­Mpumalanga had resigned from the mother body because it was ­unhappy with Nafcoc president Lawrence ­Mavundla’s leadership style.

“We left because we’re not happy that Mavundla is busy pushing ­decisions down our throats,” Kunene said.

“We’d refused to approve the ­decision to acquire the Gallagher Convention Centre, and I didn’t sign for the deal as I believe we can’t be a part of the deal.”

He said they were due to meet their lawyer on Wednesday to ­challenge Nafcoc leaders in court for amending the constitution.

Kunene said Mavundla was not fit to lead Nafcoc because he didn’t ­understand its constitution. He cited the unsuccessful attempt to dissolve the Mpumalanga structure as an example.

“Nafcoc tried to dissolve the Mpumalanga constituency, but this failed because the only people who are constitutionally allowed to disintegrate a structure are those who voted for it,” he said.

Nafcoc was negotiating with ­casino and hotel group Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) to acquire the convention centre.

Nafcoc owned preference shares worth R500?million in HCI and planned to acquire the convention centre in exchange for the shares.

The bone of contention was that Nafcoc was willing to buy the ­convention centre from HCI at R110?million more than its going price.

A Nafcoc insider, who asked not to be named for fear of ­victimisation, told City Press that ­Nafcoc ­leaders had lost confidence in ­Mavundla and felt that his ­private life was interfering with the daily ­running of the organisation.

Nafcoc spokesperson Vukile Mathabela refused to comment on Makanda’s dismissal or to give ­details on the Gallagher deal.

Mathabela said: “We can’t ­comment on the matter of ­Makanda ­because we’re still within 14 days of our ­internal disciplinary ­processes.

“We’ll issue a statement clarifying the matter later.”

Mathabela denounced Kunene, ­saying: “Kunene is not a ­chairperson of any of Nafcoc’s structures.”

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