Why not investigate SA Tourism’s CFO Johan van der Walt, asks Lindiwe Sisulu

The three, Enver Duminy, Ravi Nadasen and Rosemary Anderson, resigned with immediate effect last week shortly after the controversial sponsorship proposal came to the public’s attention. 

Sisulu, however,  suggested that the board should be focused on suspending the CFO, Johan van der Walt, who allegedly brought ethical defects to the deal.

She said finding the whistle-blowers of the scandal was irrelevant. 

“The investigation of resigned board members is a ruse, whether they have leaked information or not. Their matter is not relevant to this case and is not worth wasting resources on. What must be investigated are all potential transgressors that have brought the image of SA Tourism into disrepute through deliberate deceptions. [This] includes hidden agencies that stood to benefit from this deal,” Sisulu’s office said in a statement. 

The board had mentioned that it was not ignoring Van der Walt’s alleged transgressions, but Sisulu’s office suggested that the focus was being diverted.

“In the meeting between minister Sisulu and the board a few days ago, the board made it very clear that the CFO had failed to declare his interests in three board meetings, concealing his special relationship with one of the companies involved in the deal,” read a statement from Sisulu’s office. “Subsequent to her meeting with the board, the minister ordered a fully fledged forensic investigation mainly on this serious conflict of interest. The official letter towards this investigation is sitting with the board for processing. As to why the board is not acting is a serious governance lapse,” the statement read.

Sisulu stressed that she wanted the investigation to start urgently and for the board to leave no stone unturned.

“The minister is seriously disturbed that the CFO who is under investigation is still in office. Minister Sisulu has urged the board to be decisive on this serious matter and take appropriate steps. Anything beyond this will be tantamount to dereliction of fiduciary duties and malicious defiance by all those who have a responsibility to maintain the image, dignity and the credibility of SA Tourism,” she added.

The leaked documents relate to the SA Tourism board deliberating on the R1bn sponsorship on January 27 where they conditionally approved it, pending consultation with the minister of tourism, the department of tourism, the National Treasury and other stakeholders. 

The board alleged that before the consultation processes had been undertaken, a presentation containing the details of the Tottenham Hotspur FC deal was leaked.

Since then, SA Tourism has been under immense pressure from the public over the three-year agreement worth R1bn. The deal included printing a message about SA on the club’s jerseys as part of a campaign to get millions of people around the world who watch the league to visit South Africa.


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Author: editor

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