The forensic audit of financial irregularities in the WKKF Pretoria office continues to produce additional evidence of misconduct. As a result, the office remains closed and operations remain suspended.
We are shocked and saddened by the evidence of serious misconduct emerging from the ongoing audit. Disciplinary hearings have been held in accordance with South African law and procedure. As a result, a member of our Pretoria staff was dismissed and subsequently arrested by South African authorities.
Additionally, a second disciplinary hearing about incidents of misconduct involving conflicts of interest has resulted in the dismissal of a second member of the WKKF staff in Pretoria following the recommendation of the independent chairman of the hearing.
For the time being, all Africa staff will report to Jim McHale. Our Battle Creek staff will continue to administer all grants and contracts. WKKF staff in Pretoria will continue to receive salaries and benefits.
The Foundation is profoundly disappointed. But the investigation and ultimate outcome will not deter us from our mission of helping children. Our commitment to the southern Africa region remains.
A Message to Grantees and Contractors
The administration of grants and contracts for the region is slowed by the unprecedented nature of this investigation and the resulting needs of the forensic process. Additionally, the desire of the Foundation to fully comply with South African and U.S. law necessitates a very deliberate and thorough process. As a result, we are receiving inquiries from grantees and contractors in the region who report that they are experiencing uncertainty and financial difficulties.
Rest assured we are dealing with each inquiry on its merits, requesting supporting documentation and proof of deliverables where necessary. In some instances we regrettably have had to inform correspondents that their matters will take some time to resolve because of forensic requirements or suspected breaches of internal procedures.
It is the intention of the Foundation to deal with these unfortunate events as expeditiously as possible. We are aware of the potentially adverse consequences of delays on the projects we support and of the uncertainty and anxiety that is felt by all our stakeholders.
Ultimately, we are accountable to our board of trustees and the many beneficiaries who expect from us the highest standards of governance and stewardship. We will therefore comply strictly with the policies and procedures of the Foundation as we seek to bring this matter to a close.
Finally, we owe the highest duty to operate in accordance with the laws of the United States. The painstaking process we are following is necessary to ensure that we strictly comply with all applicable laws and regulations pertaining to our charitable activities and are thus able to continue with our mission internationally.