The Black Business Council has suspended its chief executive, Danisa Baloyi, pending an investigation into a missing donation from the Airports Company South Africa worth R5 million.
Speaking at a media briefing at the council’s offices in Johannesburg on Monday, secretary-general George Sebulela said that the decision was taken at the organisation’s national council meeting held on Thursday.
The council and Acsa still had conflicting versions of how the donation, meant to fund the council’s transformation lobbying programme, seemingly disappeared.
Sebulela said that Acsa laid charges of theft and fraud against Baloyi.The charges were laid at Bramley police station.
Kganki Matabane, former chief operations officer and executive director of Sentech, had taken over the position of chief executive.
He said that the council did not have “financial challenges” and that his role was to strengthen it.
The council requested that Baloyi “refrain from any activity of the organisation in the name of the BBC” until the matter is resolved, said Sebulela.
On Friday, Acsa said the donation had been brokered by Baloyi and that her office specifically instructed that the money be paid to Merit Energy, an intermediary.
Other council officials were apparently unaware of this and approached Acsa for a donation in August, only to be told that they had already been sponsored generously just a few months earlier.
City Press reported on how the Acsa donation had gone missing and how fundraiser Dominic Ntsele was being pursued for this cash by the council.
The council also laid criminal charges against both Ntsele and Merit Energy.
Ntsele had nothing to do with the transaction, but introduced Baloyi to Acsa chief executive Bongani Maseko, the company said.
According to Acsa, Baloyi’s letter stated that her office had “appointed Merit Energy to help facilitate the implementation of the campaign. Merit Energy will bill Acsa as discussed”.
At the same time, Baloyi’s colleague, Sebulela, told City Press that there “was no relationship between Merit Energy and the council”.
Merit Energy is owned by veteran Cape Town businesswoman Hawa Bibi Khan.