PROFESSOR David Mabunda resigned as Ezemvelo CEO on Tuesday, a decision he said was informed by his new role as an honorary professor in natural sciences, which will require him to operate in an academic environment or research institution.In his farewell speech, he said his resignation was an amicable agreement between him and the Ezemvelo Board, dismissing as “incorrect and mischevious” reports in the media of an alleged power struggle between the board and management.Mabunda’s last day as CEO of the entity will be July 31.“I also want to thank the new Board under the leadership of Mr Zwile Zulu for their contributions in the past six months since its appointment. Sir, your Board’s term of office is the most difficult I can think of in the more than three decades of my experience in the conservation sector. “You are expected to turn a Savannah forest into a grassland overnight with very limited resources. Please create an enabling atmosphere for this organisation to make the task of managing and leading the entity effective and successful. Meaningful success will only come when all levels of the organisation pull in the same direction. “A tug of war will tear this organisation apart and leave it with a permanent scar of dysfunctionality.”He also thanked his Ezemvelo colleagues, the NGO sector, communities the entity works within, the portfolio committee on environment and conservation, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala and officials from the department and Treasury.Mabunda said he believes the entity has a promising future and that despite his new responsibilities he will always make room for Ezemvelo. The KZN Nature Conservation Board Chairperson, Zwile Zulu, at the farewell briefing session on Tuesday, July 25, at Queen Elizabeth Park, Pietermaritzburg, expressed his appreciation to Mabunda following his resignation.“We are grateful that you were willing to answer our call when we needed you. I am thankful for all your efforts in providing direction to this organisation. If opportunities avail themselves for us to tap into your expirience, we shall gladly do so. I wish you well in your new endeavour and trust that you will continue to help our country improve the skills of all South Africans,” Zulu said. Sthabiso Chiliza has been appointed acting CEO until further notice.