Forensic investigation under way at troubled KZN Growth Fund to get to bottom of rot

Picture: Tumisu/Pixabay

Picture: Tumisu/Pixabay

Published Jun 13, 2023


Durban - A forensic investigation is under way at the troubled KwaZulu-Natal Growth Fund which has been engulfed by allegations of wrongdoing and misaligned appointments.

The probe is being undertaken by a Durban based forensic company called Thornton Dibb Rossal Ubucule.

The fund has in the past been accused of being selective in who it funds for business ventures, with allegations that they were funding businesses of politically connected businesspeople.

IOL has learned from its sources within the company that the probe will be concluded at the end of this month and a report with recommendations tabled at a later stage.

“The investigation started last year in November when they investigated the media leaks, payroll and the Ina Cronje report.

“They came back this year in April for payroll again, IT and diner’s club cards.

“The Tour vest travel account is also being investigated by the forensic company.

“They are finishing their investigation now end of June,” a source told IOL.

IOL also learnt that there are employees of the fund that are getting acting allowances for positions that are not even in the organogram.

Early this year there were media reports that unhappy staff wrote a letter to the MEC Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Siboniso Duma, asking him to step in and stop the rot in the fund.

Among the pleas from the unhappy staff was a complete overhaul of the institution’s management structure.

Duma’s department is in charge of the fund whose mandate is to fund business development in KwaZulu-Natal.

The acting chief executive of the fund, Kaya Nqqaka, confirmed that there is an ongoing probe, but said he won’t give more information.

“The KZN Growth Fund (KZNGF) can confirm that a forensic investigation is being undertaken within the Fund, by Thornton Dibb Rossal Ubucule Inc.

“Forensic investigations by their very nature are sensitive and this is an ongoing internal process - the outcome of which is yet to be determined.

“Our priority at this stage is to allow the process to run its course.

“We would be prepared to discuss the findings and recommendations at the conclusion of the process,” Ngqaka said to IOL.

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