SANParks CEO acquitted of assault charges.. The CEO of the South African National Parks (SANParks), Fundisile Mketeni, was on Monday found not guilty of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm by the Bushbuckridge Magistrate’s Court.
The judgment was confirmed by Mketeni’s legal team to The Citizen.
Mketeni was first accused of the charges in May, and made his first court appearance in the same month along with three other individuals accused of similar charges.
The sexual assault charges levelled against Mketeni were withdrawn in July, owed to inconsistencies and a lack of evidence, his legal team said.
He had been on voluntary special leave following the assault and sexual assault complaints. He was appointed CEO of SANParks in 2014.
The charges were laid against Mketeni by a 35-year-old woman employed at Shalati Lodge in Skukuza in the Kruger National Park.
In June, he expressed “disappointment” at the allegations, with his legal team accusing the woman who laid the charges of blackmailing high-profile individuals “in exchange for financial rewards”.
City Press reported in May that the woman who accused Mketeni of sexual assault feared for her life and was afraid to return to work.
MacBeth Attorneys confirmed to The Citizen that Mketeni was “ready to head back to work” after his voluntary special leave.
His family has been left “traumatised” after the allegations, Advocate Adriana Bevilacqua said, adding that “staff morale was affected”.
He thanked his wife and children for supporting him throughout this time.