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SANParks accused of nepotism, corruption and maladministration

Pretoria News logo Pretoria News 2019-10-10 RAPULA MOATSHE

a group of people sitting at a table posing for the camera: SOLLY Malema and Success Mataitsane of the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers brief the media yesterday.     Picture: Rapula Moatshe © Provided by Independent Media SOLLY Malema and Success Mataitsane of the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers brief the media yesterday. Picture: Rapula Moatshe Pretoria - SA National Parks (SANParks) has come under scathing attack, with the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers accusing it of perpetuating nepotism, corruption and maladministration.

During a media briefing yesterday, the union’s national organiser, Solly Malema, alleged that SANParks tended to favour white employees. 

He cited an incident involving a chief pilot who “was charged with fraud” and given an ultimatum to either resign or be demoted.

Malema questioned why black employees who got into trouble with SANParks were “never given an opportunity to (choose) an option, but were just dismissed because they were black”.

Malema was accompanied by the union’s general secretary, Success Mataitsane, who threatened to mobilise workers to go on strike should their issues not be addressed urgently.

“Rhino poaching has escalated as there are private operators in the wilderness areas of the parks - without anyone noticing whether the rhinos are safe from such strangers. And recently there has been the killing of rangers by poachers,” he said.

FILE: Kruger National Park Giraffe on April 16, 2017 in South Africa. © Frédéric Soltan/Corbis via Getty Images FILE: Kruger National Park Giraffe on April 16, 2017 in South Africa. He further slammed the practice of outsourcing services at SANParks, saying this was done to enrich a few individuals.

Both Malema and Mataitsane claimed SANParks was sitting on a report compiled following an investigation into corruption and maladministration at the organisation.

“We demand that SANParks release its investigation report, stop the outsourcing of services and restore terms and conditions of employment relating to Sundays, overtime and public holidays,” said Malema.

Mataitsane said the union had knocked on the door of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office, asking for government intervention at SANParks.

SANParks spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli said the entity was aware of the grievances of one employee at Kruger National Park.

“So serious and wide-ranging were these grievances and allegations that SANParks has gone over and beyond normal business practice to investigate and resolve them. This includes appointing an independent investigation by advocate Boyce Mkhize and numerous interventions by management, HR and even the SANParks CEO to understand the facts (if any) in these serious allegations,” he said.

He said the time line for the case stretched back to February and that the employee had now been suspended.

Thakhuli said the report on the investigation remained internal and classified as various individuals were named. “It is also with sadness that we watch media and a trade union erroneously label the said employee as a ‘whistle-blower’ when he has not been able to supply a single piece of evidence to the serious allegations he has made,” he said.

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