Mbabane: Bongani Ndwandwe, former Human Resource Director at Ubombo Sugar Limited, a subsidiary of Illovo Sugar has resigned amid strong allegations of sex for jobs by female employees.
The resignation of Ndwandwe, who also occupies a top position in the Church of the Nazarene was confirmed by Ubombo Sugar Limited Managing Director, Oswald Magwezi. However, Magwezi did not want to give more details regarding the resignation of Ndwandwe.
Despite being sent a questionnaire containing 11 questions, the outgoing managing director chose to respond to only two and deliberately ignored the rest. “My response to your questionnaire is that I can confirm that the head of HR resigned and the resignation is covered by employer-employee confidentiality.”
Through its well-placed sources within the company, this publication has reliably established that Ndwandwe resigned at the height of an intense investigation that was launched by the head office in Durban, South Africa. Further information is to the effect that the head office had to take the matter to its hands after the local office allegedly failed to take action.
“The head office had to send a team of investigators from Durban to institute an investigation after over 10 female employees accused the HR of asking sexual favors in return for jobs and work-related favors. There are those who testified that they were indeed once fell on the former HR’s trap,” said a source, adding that even those who had resigned from the company had to be called back to give their testimonies.
We reached out to Ndwandwe through a questionnaire that was sent via WhatsApp, but he ignored it despite that he read through it as indicated by the double blue ticks. He then sent a close relative working in the media industry to negotiate that the story should not be published.
Ndwandwe whose initial position was an accounted replaced Jobe Mashwama who left the company around 2015. Sources say he was promoted to the Head of HR position ahead of other equally deserving candidates who were Phindile Dlamini, Sengetile Mthimkhulu, Happiness Dludlu, and Sithembiso Shongwe.
Sthembiso was later retrenched and Phindile opted to take her package after some work-related differences erupted.
Illovo Group has a strict code of conduct for its all employees. The company is strongly against harsh or inhumane treatment or physical abuse, sexual or other harassment, and verbal abuse or other forms of intimidation are prohibited.
Illovo, Africa’s biggest sugar producer also adopted an anti-bribery and corruption which is a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of bribery, corruption, and unethical business practices. The offering, paying, soliciting, or accepting of bribes or kickbacks, including facilitation payments, is strictly prohibited.
Illovo has a 60 percent share in Ubombo Sugar Limited, with 40 percent of shares held by Tibiyo Taka Ngwane (Tibiyo). Ubombo, situated adjacent to the Usuthu River in the southeast of the country, annually produces approximately 300 000 tons of sugar. It is one of three sugar producers in the country whose combined total sugar output of approximately 730 000 tons is marketed and distributed by the Eswatini Sugar Association (ESA).