News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
20 Jan 2021
3:40 pm

Nelson Mandela Foundation probe misuse of credit cards, abuse allegations

News24 Wire

The foundation it would make the outcome of the investigation public once completed.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - 2 June 2009: A group of American and South African students, aged from 11 to 19, met with Nelson Mandela at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, on 2 June 2009. This is part of a series of activities ahead of Mandela Day on 18 July. (Photo by Gallo Images/Foto24)

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is being plagued by a number of allegations against senior management.

These include alleged abuse of power, the misuse of company-issued credit cards and improper procurement. The foundation’s chairperson, Professor Njabulo Ndebele, said the allegations were being investigated.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) is looking into allegations of improper procurement, the misuse of company credit cards and abuse of power against its CEO Sello Hatang and COO Limpho Monyamane.

According to Sunday Times Daily, NMF chairperson Professor Njabulo Ndebele confirmed that law firm Bowman Gilfillan Inc was probing allegations against the two, saying that a complaint was being investigated and was not taken “lightly”.

The complaint, issued in mid-December, stated that the foundation paid millions to a “donor”, instead of receiving payment, and paid nearly R150,000 for the development of HR policies, which was never completed.

In addition, Hatang and Monyamane’s official credit cards were allegedly used for personal purchases, such as fast food. Staff members also reported emotional abuse and working under “fear and intimidation on [a] daily basis”, leading to “several staff members [being] hospitalised due to traumatic incidents and toxic relations at work”.

On Saturday, eNCA reported that the allegations include staff victimisation, nepotism and a “general climate of fear”.

A leaked internal memo reportedly called for “calm and focus” among staff, with Ndebele asking that the independent investigation be given a chance.

Hatang declined to comment to Sunday Times Daily, adding that he will not say anything out of respect for the investigation, while Monyamane reportedly did not respond to requests for comment.

Ndebele reportedly said the NMF was implementing the necessary steps to ascertain the merits of the complaint and would respond accordingly.

According to its website, the NMF was established in 1999 when Nelson Mandela stepped down as president of South Africa after serving one term.

The foundation aims to promote Mandela’s vision of freedom and equality for all.

The foundation has since released a statement confirming the investigation is underway.

“Interviews are currently being conducted with management, staff and a small number of service providers to ensure all sides of the story are heard.

“In the meantime, the foundation requests a fair and responsible approach to the issue by the media, and that the process be allowed to run its course.”

It said it would make the outcome of the investigation public once completed.

“Out of fairness to all parties, the Foundation will not be conducting any interviews, or discussing the matter further in public, while the investigation is underway.”

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