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Media Release: Statement by board of SANParks on media allegations of corruption

Date: 20th February 2012

The Board of South African National Parks (SANParks) refutes corruption allegations made in the media against senior members of the organisation.

"The Board notes with concern the allegations made in the M&G, purportedly from a disgruntled former employee who had turned into a "self-styled" whistle-blower, as these allegations were appropriately dealt with by the Board of SANParks. The Board cleared the names of those who were accused of inappropriate conduct," said the Chairperson of the Board of SANParks, Mr Kuseni Dlamini.

Dlamini said that in January 2011 SANParks received an inquiry from the office of the Public Protector in Nelspruit which stated that a number of companies contracted to the Kruger National Park (KNP) were alleged to be owned by family, friends or associates of senior officials in the KNP.  SANParks is unaware of investigation by the Public Protector referred to in the Mail & Guardian.

SANParks launched an investigation, as a result of this, which led to most of the accused being cleared on the allegations made except for one who was eventually dismissed. 

The same allegations were brought to the attention of the office of the Auditor General (AG), with an added allegation against the Chief Executive, Dr David Mabunda. The office of the AG then extended its audit to include these allegations specifically. The findings of the office of the AG were that no evidence in support of these claims could be found. However, the report of the office of the AG indicated some areas in which controls needed to be tightened, to which SANParks obliged.

The Board of SANParks took a decision to appoint the services of a forensic auditing firm in order to satisfy itself that indeed there was no wrong doing on the part of the individuals involved. The appointed auditing firm, SizweNtsalubaGobodo, following a thorough investigation, did not find any evidence of corruption linking the individuals to the companies stated.  The report was presented to the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board of SANParks.

"Following the investigation by the AG and the further investigation conducted by the forensic unit of SizweNtsalubaGobodo, the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board and I are confident that there has been no manipulation of tenders in the Kruger National Park”, said Dlamini. 

"Because of the strict control measures in place, I am confident that no individual official at SANParks can influence or allocate tenders outside of the Supply Chain Management process”, said Dlamini.

The Board wants to state its support for the CEO and the Executive Management of SANParks, said Dlamini.

Issued by: 
Board of South African National Parks (SANParks) 

Media enquiries: 
wanda mkutshulwa – Head of Communications, South African National Parks (SANParks)
Tel: 012 426 5201 Cell: 082 908 2692 Email: wandam@sanparks.org 

 

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