The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, has accepted a resignation from the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) board chairperson, Tami Sokutu, the department said.
This follows news that Sokutu was allegedly drunk at an official event held in London in May.
“In discussing these allegations … the minister and Mr Sokutu agreed that Mr Sokutu (he) should be released from his position as chairperson of the board,” a statement said.
The department said Molewa had also considered the fact that Sokutu has recently been on sabbatical leave, which in some ways did not allow him to effectively fulfil his role as the chairperson of the board.
“The minister would like to thank Mr Sokutu for his excellent leadership as chairperson for the past six years, during which he steered SANBI through some of the most difficult times of change. As a trained botanist, ex-public servant and a businessman, he contributed to the great success that SANBI has achieved in the implementation of its programmes.”
During his tenure as chairperson, Sokutu never accepted any board fees, which have been used for staff development and improvement, at his request.