Former president Kgalema Motlanthe will take over the running of the Nelson Mandela Foundation following allegations of corruption against management staff, the organisation said in a statement on Saturday.
The allegations include abuse of power, the misuse of company-issued credit cards and improper procurement. The allegations against CEO Sello Hatang and COO Limpho Monyamane included victimisation and nepotism.
The complaint, made in December, said the foundation paid millions for the development of HR policies, which were never completed, according to Sunday Times Daily. In addition, it is alleged that Hatang and Monyamane’s official credit cards were used for personal purchases.
The foundation’s board has accepted requests for leave of absence from Hatang and Monyamane, “motivated by their desire to ensure the sanctity of the board-driven investigation process”.
“This action of the board should in no way be interpreted as an indication that it has taken any view on the outcome of the investigation,” it said.
According to the statement, an interim leadership structure was being put in place with immediate effect. This will be led by Motlanthe and two trustees – attorney and social justice activist Alice Brown and Maya Makanjee, who serves on the board of several South African corporates. They will oversee the day-to-day running of the foundation until the investigation was complete.
On Wednesday, the foundation released a statement confirming an investigation was under way. It added that interviews were being carried out with management, staff and a small number of service providers.
“The board has already instituted an internal investigation into allegations made in an anonymous email,” the statement read.
It said it would make the outcome of the investigation public once completed.