A SHROUD of controversy still persists following the precautionary suspension of South African Tourism boss Sisa Ntshona by the board.
This comes after the board resolved to investigate allegations received against Ntshona through its anonymous tip-offs reporting mechanism.
Although the board is tight lipped on the actual allegations leveled against the former Absa executive, the industry is shaken by the move.
Huge industry players who did not want to named, alluded the suspension would have a bad reputation at the annual Tourism Indaba, taking place in Durban having been brought closer from May 2-4, due to general elections on May 8.
The rescheduling of Indaba could hurt attendance and hinder tourism growth.
Speaking on condition of anonymity a staff member said, they were saddened by what had happened and pointed out those behind these ‘callous acts’ will be identified.
The board said the investigations would be conducted in the “best interest of all parties” and “this would allow the CEO to focus on responding to the allegations as well as guarantee the integrity and transparency of the process to be followed.”
Sthembiso Dlamini has been appointed as the acting CEO.
Meanwhile, it does not rain but pouring troubles within the tourism sector.
Brand South Africa CEO Kingsley Makhubela has been cleared of all the charges of sexual harassment for which he was suspended in April 2017.
But the Brand SA Board of Trustees has immediately slapped him with three new unrelated charges and has told him that he will remain suspended on paid leave until those charges have been addressed in a new disciplinary hearing.
Makhubela is a former ambassador to Portugal and Kenya and later director-general of the Department of Tourism, joined Brand SA as CEO.
Brand SA is the country’s official marketing agency.
Sithembile Ntombela has been appointed Brand SA -CMO.