controversial former Mpumalanga MEC has been given an exit settlement believed to be in the region of R5 million after efforts to link him to the theft of rhino horns worth R116 million came to naught.
Jacques Modipane, who had three years remaining on his contract, will leave quietly as Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) chief executive after both parties reached a settlement.
The horns were stolen from a storeroom at the tourism agency’s offices on April 20 last year.
Although there were attempts to point fingers at him, Modipane was never linked to the theft.
The Hawks arrested Gideon Mtshali (51), Leonard Sizwe Malatjie (34), Velly William Zwane (43) and Selby George Khoza (39), who are being tried in the Nelspruit Regional Court for burglary and theft.
But he was instructed to return to work on December 3 and when he refused because he had already signed an earlier exit package, he was accused internally of the horn theft. Irregular expenditure charges were also levelled against him. He is now officially leaving the agency. William Lubisi, chairman of the tourism agency’s board, said: “The agreement is that we part ways and we will not disclose the details.”
Modipane also declined to explain and could only say that the MTPA approached him for the second time to settle the matter out of court and he agreed.
“They approached me for a settlement. I had taken them to the labour court to explain the allegations they levelled against me. Maybe they thought they could walk over me. I think everything is gone with that case, that agreement,” he said.
Although Modipane and Lubisi were reluctant to give details of the exit package, City Press understands from sources that it is about R5 million.
In an interview last year, Modipane claimed his
EXIT PACKAGE Jacques Modipane also had to resign as Mpumalanga finance MEC in former premier Mathews Phosa’s cabinet in 1998