Proudly SA chief executive Eustace Mashimbye on a locally produced couch in his office in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Photo: Philippa Larkin
Proudly SA chief executive Eustace Mashimbye on a locally produced couch in his office in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Photo: Philippa Larkin

Proudly SA hits back at corruption allegations

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Feb 20, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG -  Proudly SA on Thursday hit back against recent allegations of corruption within the organisation and after an investigation said it was considering filing civil suits against three former employees for defamation and fraud.

Proudly SA is an organisation that promotes the procurement of locally manufactured goods to reduce unemployment.

It said in a statement that three disgruntled, now former employees, had tried to bring the organisation into disrepute.

"As on 26 January 2020, a series of false accusations was made against Proudly SA on the spoof Twitter account @AdvoBarryRoux. The posts named members of our executive as well as some of our suppliers, partners and service providers," Proudly SA said.

It said the same accusations of maladministration, fraud and irregular financial procedures had been made in a report that was submitted anonymously in October to the Deloitte Tip-Off Line.

However, an internal investigation, exonerated all those implicated and, "in fact, found the submission to constitute malicious reporting".
Proudly SA  said a further external inquiry, which it  commissioned and included a forensic investigation, found the accusations to be without any foundation, clearing each member of the executive and management of any wrongdoing whatsoever.

"What was also uncovered during the investigations, was that one of these members of staff had themselves falsified documents in order to implicate others and to justify the claims made in the anonymous report. All three of the afore mentioned employees have now been dismissed by Proudly South African," it said.

Proudly SA said as a result of the public, defamatory claims that were made in the public domain, making false accusations and using names in the process, three of its executives were considering pursing civil suits against these individuals and the organisation had also taken legal advice regarding opening charges of fraud and/or forgery.

"In addition, despite the fact that Proudly South African has received 12 consecutive clean audits, the board has directed that we strengthen the controls within our financial management system to ensure that good governance is maintained," it said.

Proudly SA said the actions of the three employees had failed to achieve its  goals of casting doubt on the campaign and its integrity and of bringing the organisation into disrepute. We have continued diong ‘business as usual’ and we will be putting the focus over the next fiscal year on consumer education, over and above our work to promote local procurement in all sectors.


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