CEO of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona, has been placed on cautionary suspension as of 16h00 on April 1, pending an investigation of allegations laid against the CEO through its anonymous tip-offs reporting mechanism.

The Board made the decision to place Ntshona on precautionary suspension in order to conduct a free and fair investigation of the allegations, in the best interest of all parties concerned, and to allow the CEO to “focus on responding to the allegations, as well as guarantee the integrity and transparency of the process to be followed,” said a statement released by SA Tourism on April 2.

Chairman of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), Blacky Komani, commented: “The SAT Board has its reasons to make this decision, but from the TBCSA point of view we feel that the timing is regrettable. It happens at the time that our President has put forward targets for the industry in his SONA. It also happens at the time that collaboration between SAT and TBCSA was at its highest. Sisa understood the role of the private sector in reaching the tourism targets that the President has put forward. We urge the SAT Board to resolve this matter as soon as they can; SAT needs stable leadership in order to deal with the critical issue of declining forward bookings, opening up new markets like China and India.”

Sthembiso Dlamini has been appointed as acting CEO, to facilitate the smooth continuation of the organisation’s work, and guarantee the urgent filling of the vacant senior executive position to ensure that Africa’s Travel Indaba, scheduled for May 2 to 4, is delivered.