Rhino horn theft – MTPA in crisis, disband board: DA

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga economic development MEC Yvonne Phosa must immediately disband the board of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA), following the removal of CEO Jacques Modipane.

According to DA sources, Mr Modipane was removed last week by acting board chairperson Clarah Ndlovu, in what appears to be a knee-jerk response to the theft of rhino horn from the MTPA earlier during the week.

It is alleged that Ndlovu appointed COO Edward Twala to preside until 6 May. It cannot be forgotten that Twala was at the MTPA helm when the agency received a financial disclaimer from the Auditor General.

Modipane has been trying to instil good, clean corporative governance in the agency, and his sacking has caused MTPA staff to go on strike this morning, demanding his reinstatement. It is alleged that his sacking is a mere smokescreen to protect certain individuals from being fingered in the rhino horn theft saga.

Modipane’s removal and the imminent replacement of MEC Phosa after the elections will have a devastating impact on this investigation, and leaves the DA in no doubt that certain forces are at play to ensure that the entire rhino horn theft scandal will be swept under the carpet after 7 May.

To this end, the DA will write to the MEC demanding she disband the board with immediate effect, pending a high level investigation into the corporate governance of the board, as well as the rhino horn theft.

The MEC must act before all role players are removed from the MTPA and replaced with pawns and puppets.