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NEF board to investigate CEO

DTI received an anonymous tip-off accusing Philisiwe Mthethwa of fraud and corruption.

National Empowerment Fund (NEF) CEO Philisiwe Mthethwa. Picture: www.nefcorp.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Trade and Industry has dismissed allegations that National Empowerment Fund (NEF) head Philisiwe Mthethwa has been placed on special leave.

The department reportedly received an anonymous tip-off from a whistleblower accusing Mthethwa and two employees of involvement in fraud and corruption.

An auditing company has since been appointed to conduct a forensic investigation into the matter.

Department spokesperson Sidwell Medupe said Mthethwa is still the CEO of the NEF.

"Ms Mthethwa has not been suspended or placed on special leave. The department has requested that the NEF board investigate certain allegations."

The NEF made headlines earlier this year after it emerged that Mthethwa had granted businesswoman Khanyi Dhlomo a R34 million loan to fund her upmarket retail store, Luminance, in Hyde Park.

Dhlomo has denied claims that she secured funding unfairly.