19 June 2023 - NW2119
De Freitas, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Tourism
With reference to the recent appointment of the acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism, what are the (a) details of the background and verification checks that were performed before the specified person was appointed to the specified position, and (b) reasons that the specified person was not suspended pending the outcome of the investigation into the most recent allegations?
(a) What are the details of the background and verification checks that were performed before the specified person was appointed to the specified position.
I have been informed by SA Tourism, in terms of its policy, upon appointment into the organisation the following suitability checks were conducted on the person:
• Educational qualifications;
• Previous employment references;
• Identity documentation;
• Criminal record;
• Judgment and bankruptcy orders;
• Previous employment history;
• Pre-employment testing, where it is an inherent requirement of the job; and
• Any other relevant information deemed necessary.
In line with internal mechanisms for assessing the suitability checks and disclosure of interests, the acting CEO was found suitable for an executive management role at SATourism.
As a member of executive management within SA Tourism and having been subjected to these checks, the Board resolved to appoint her as Acting CEO.
(b) What are the reasons that the specified person was not suspended pending the outcome of the investigation into the most recent allegations.
The Interim Board was not aware of the allegations at the stage of appointment. The initial enquiry into the matter showed evidence that the Acting CEO followed a process for approvals to accept the invitation by Qatar Airways in 2022.
As such, the Board made the decision to retain her in the acting position subject to the completion of an ongoing investigation into the matter by SA Tourism’s Internal Audit division. This investigation will determine whether all internal policies as well as the prescripts of the Public Finance Management Act were followed. The Board will review the outcomes of the investigation to determine what further steps are required.