‘Vindicated’ Sisa Ntshona reinstated as CEO of SA Tourism

After nine-month suspension.
Sisa Ntshona is back at the helm of the agency and will resume his duties after the festive season. Image: Supplied

Cleared of any wrongdoing following a forensic investigation and disciplinary inquiry, South African Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona will return to the hot seat of the national tourism promotion agency in January.

His return, after a more than nine-month suspension on full pay, was confirmed by the SA Tourism board in a statement over the long weekend.

Read: SA Tourism: Why are whistleblower allegations still a secret?

Ntshona has kept a low profile since his suspension on April 1, both in public and on social media. However, he tweeted res ipsa loquitur – ‘the thing speaks for itself’ – with a copy of the statement.

Contacted by Moneyweb for comment this week, Ntshona welcomed the news but referred media queries to his spokesperson, Lauretta Ngakane.

In a brief statement to Moneyweb, Ngakane said: “Mr Ntshona has finally been vindicated of all charges and is now looking forward to returning to the helm of SA Tourism … It is unfortunate that the overall process took so long.”

In its statement, SA Tourism’s board said it had received the final adjudication from the team working on the disciplinary hearing on December 13. It also noted that Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has been appraised of the outcome.

Read: 5 000 new cops, 1 500 tourism monitors hit SA streets

“Following a thorough process which saw a forensic investigation and a disciplinary hearing take place, Mr Ntshona has been cleared of all charges brought against him. The board is pleased that the process has finally been concluded and that the organisation can return to normality,” it said.

“The board welcomes back Mr Ntshona and looks forward to continue working with him as we seek to grow tourist arrivals in our sector and to build a stable organisation … Mr Ntshona returns to his position as CEO of SA Tourism immediately and will resume his office duties after the festive season vacation,” it added, and thanked Sthembiso Dlamini for her “sterling work” as acting CEO.

Read: Audit concerns at Tourism Department and SA Tourism

Neither the SA Tourism board nor Ntshona have revealed the allegations brought against him that led to the investigation. When Ntshona was suspended in April – just weeks before the start of SA Tourism’s biggest annual event, Africa’s Tourism Indaba – the board noted that his suspension followed an anonymous tip-off by a whistleblower.

Speaking exclusively to Moneyweb in October, Ngakane said the charges against Ntshona were “baseless and driven by nefarious motives of a nameless whistleblower.” She said the suspension was never based on any performance issues.

Ntshona’s return as SA Tourism’s CEO has been welcomed by several senior leaders in the industry, including Tourism Business Council of SA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa.

“Welcome back, looking forward to continuing the work ahead of us,” Tshivhengwa said in a tweet in response to Ntshona’s message.

Read: SA’s international tourist arrivals ‘not looking good’

Listen to Rofhiwa Madzena‏’s interview with nlighten CEO Nathalie Schooling:
 

 
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False accusations from a ‘whistleblower’ can cost a organization millions of rands in investigating these accusations. It can sink a person’s reputation and career.

Would I, not being not part of “our people” invite one of “my people” to visit RSA? No!

It’s fundamentally wrong that an organization can institute grave charges against an employee, and then just waltz away from a damning finding that the allegations were baseless, and “welcomes the employee back.

This is the equivalent of” wrongful arrest”.

If the forensic investigation revealed no wrong doing why have a hearing? For a disciplinary hearing to have taken place the investigation must have revealed some wrong doing? If Mr.Ntshona is not guilty someone else is?

It is called the bucket of crabs syndrome, very common in Afrika.

Look at our municipalities, one mayor for 6 months then suddenly someone else wants to be mayor.

You will probably find a disgruntled employee some where got a tongue lashing from him and decided to retaliate.

Dude! You’ve had 9 months off work on paid suspension but will only return to work “after the festive season vacation”???

You do know that the “festive season” is the busiest tourist season of the year, don’t you?

Sigh ….

End of comments.

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