Dear SA in turmoil amid allegations that founder abused donor funds

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Sandra Dickson
Sandra Dickson
  • The latest move comes after allegations surfaced that founder Rob Hutchinson had misused donations meant for Dear South Africa.
  • It recently emerged that grant money totalling more than R847 000 was received from a UK-based donor, called Indigo Trust. 
  • Hutchinson said the dispute among the directors was the result of "greed".

Internal squabbles among directors of public participation group Dear South Africa have reached a new low, with a resolution to remove founder Rob Hutchinson with immediate effect.

The resolution was made by current directors Sandra Dickson and Ted Blom.

Dickson said: "This is a direct result of issues around the management of the NPC's finances, bank account and financial irregularities. The bank account was frozen until such time the matter is resolved. The bank offered a solution, but to date this solution could not be implemented due to obstructive behaviour of one of the Dear South Africa directors."

She said legal action to recoup misappropriated funds and expenses would follow once a forensic review is completed.

READ | Allegations of funds being misused embroils public participation NGO Dear SA

The latest move comes after allegations surfaced that Hutchinson had misused donations and grants meant for Dear South Africa.

Last year, Hutchinson approached the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court on an urgent basis after the group's bank account was frozen on the instruction of both Dickson and Blom.

Grant money totalling more than R847 000 was received late in 2020 from a UK-based donor trust fund, which funds organisations involved in public participation programmes, such as Dear South Africa.

Speaking to News24, Hutchinson said the dispute among the directors stemmed from "greed".

"When they (Dickson and Blom) got whiff of our financials, that's when the trouble started brewing. They were never involved in the organisation for two years and now they suddenly became involved."

Among some of the allegations Hutchinson is facing is that he used donations for personal leisure.

Responding to the allegations, he said: "Those allegations are totally unfounded. I have spent R40 000 of my own money to get operations going after our bank accounts were frozen."


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