Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has temporarily taken over the reins at the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) amid allegations of financial impropriety and abuse of power by two senior management members.
Motlanthe is assisted by two trustees – attorney and social justice activist Alice Brown and Maya Makanjee, who serves on the board of several South African corporates.
This week the Board of the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) held two board meetings to discuss allegations by some staff against two senior management members of the foundation.
It is alleged that NMF chief executive, Sello Hatang, and chief operating officer Limpho Monyamane misused company credit cards and abused their positions of power.
“After an assessment by the board and in the light of the significance of the allegations and their potential impact on the Foundation’s reputation, it was decided that an interim leadership structure would put in place with immediate effect,” the board said on Saturday.
Motlanthe and the two trustees will oversee the day-to-day activities of the Foundation and ensure its smooth running until the investigative process has been completed and the board has considered its findings.
The board has reiterated that it is “committed to ensuring good governance as well as ethical leadership in all the Foundation’s activities” and that it is “confident that the current investigative process will be beneficial.”
“An internal investigation into allegations made in an anonymous email was instituted and details of this investigation were made available in a media statement issued on January 20,” the board said.
In the same statement, the Foundation committed to making public the findings of the investigation.
Insinuations that Bowman Gilfillan Inc, the legal firm employed to conduct the investigation, maybe conflicted because of its previous involvement in the disciplinary process were also discussed by the board.
“The board received assurances from the firm and is satisfied that there is no conflict, and that a fair and proper investigation is being conducted.”
The board said that it “remains committed to protecting the legacy of Nelson Mandela” and the name of the Foundation and will continue to ensure that it “acts in the best interest of all stakeholders.”
The board will also be engaging directly with a number of key stakeholders to “ensure there is a full understanding of the process, to explain the steps that are being taken to address the situation and to emphasize its ongoing commitment to good governance, transparency, and accountability.”
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