Black business forum on brink of collapse
At least 20 members have called for an extraordinary meeting on May 6 to discuss the allegations and the forum’s future. However, with no candidates willing to step in, the purging of the leadership could force the group to disband. Support for the Black IT Forum has dwindled to only about 50 paid-up members from the original 3 000, proving that many have lost faith in executives accused of intimidation, incompetence and harassment. Members also suspected the leadership may have misused the body’s finances. “We will see whether people are interested in saving the group, or if the apathy we are seeing is something we have to accept,” said Tebogo Khaas on Monday. Khaas blamed the forum’s failure to confront people who joined the leadership for “self-serving and dubious” motives. He claimed the forum was now insolvent because there were no proper financial controls and resources had been wasted on junkets including a golf day for a select few. Efforts to persuade the leaders to call a meeting to answer the allegations have failed. A social event at Microsoft’s offices on May 12 had been organised, because the company had paid for 25 staff to join the forum and wanted some value for money, he said. Khaas said he was not standing for office. Today forum national chairman Neville Naaidoo said the executives would use the meeting on May 12 to address the issues, and there was no need to call an alternative meeting. ‘ Business Day.