Andile Mini caught in potential conflict of interest at CHDA

Advocate Andile Mini. Picture: Facebook

Advocate Andile Mini. Picture: Facebook

Published Dec 12, 2023


Advocate Andile Mini, the regional secretary of the ANC for the Chris Hani region, is at the centre of a possible conflict of interest controversy in what could be a major blow to the ethical standing of the Chris Hani Development Agency (CHDA).

Mini, who has been juggling his responsibilities as the full-time regional secretary since May, also holds the position of board chairperson of the CHDA, raising significant governance concerns.

The revelation came to light through an anonymous letter sent to the public protector, a copy of which was seen by The Star. The letter calls for an investigation into Mini’s dual role, highlighting the potential compromise to the principles of good governance and accountability.

The CHDA has been charged with the mandate of developing rural economies in the Chris Hani District Municipality.

In the letter, the author states: “The dual role of advocate Mini undermines these principles, particularly in terms of accountability and effective governance, as he is positioned to effectively hold himself accountable, thereby compromising the integrity of the CHDA’s governance.”

Mini’s position as the regional secretary of the ANC involves oversight and supervision of the council in the municipality and its related institutions, including the CHDA.

This dual capacity raises questions about the ability to maintain impartiality and independent oversight for CHDA, critical components in public administration.

The King III Code of Corporate Governance, a guideline for effective governance in South Africa, is cited in the letter, noting the board’s role as a link between stakeholders and the company.

The letter argues that “the situation is at odds with the principles laid out in the King III Code of Corporate Governance, which emphasises the need for effective corporate governance and positions the board as a crucial link between stakeholders and the company”.

Further complicating matters is the fact that since May, Mini has been drawing a salary as the board chairperson of CHDA while being a full-time employee of the ANC.

The letter to the public protector questions the legality of this arrangement, including the decisions made under Mini’s leadership, should the CHDA be taken to court. “The potential governance and oversight failures at CHDA, precipitated by this conflicted chairmanship, are of serious concern,” the letter adds, stressing that as a qualified lawyer, Mini should be aware that his conduct could be construed as delinquent under section 162 of the Companies Act.

The public protector’s investigation was called to focus not only on Mini’s role, but also on the actions or inactions of the executive mayor of Chris Hani District Municipality Lusanda Sizani, the company secretary Sbusiso Nkunzikantini, and the CEO of CHDA, Abongile Hala.

These individuals are responsible for ensuring compliance with statutory regulations and are expected to uphold the highest standards of governance.

Concluding, the letter called for “prompt attention to this matter” in order “to uphold the principles of good governance and accountability within our public institutions”. Technically, Mini should have resigned as CHDA board chairperson six months ago.

Comment from Mini and the CHDA were unavailable at the time of publication.

The Star

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