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South African National Parks (SANParks) has granted its chief executive officer Fundisile Mketeni special leave from his work after assault and sexual assault charges were laid against him last week.

The charges against Mketeni were laid on Friday in Skukuza, Kruger National Park.

In a statement, SANParks Board Chairperson Joanne Yawitch said in line with SANParks’ commitment to ethical conduct and the seriousness of the allegations, Mketeni had requested to take special leave until such time that this matter has been resolved and the law has taken its course.

“Mr Mketeni appeared in court on Monday, 11 May 2021, together with three other individuals on similar charges (two males employed by SANParks and a female who is not a SANParks employee),” said Yawitch.

She said the board viewed the allegations in an extremely serious light and will allow the court proceedings to take their course and reach conclusions on the allegations.

“The Board will however investigate whether the circumstances surrounding the allegations led to any improper or illegal conduct which may affect the employment relationship,” said Yawitch.

Dr Luthando Dziba, the Managing Executive: Conservation Services, has been appointed as acting CEO.


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