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.ZADNA fires CEO Vika Mpisane

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Vika Mpisane has been fired as CEO of the .ZA Domain Name Authority.
Vika Mpisane has been fired as CEO of the .ZA Domain Name Authority.

Vika Mpisane has been fired as the CEO of .ZA Domain Name Authority (.ZADNA) with immediate effect.

Mpisane’s contract was terminated last week effective from 16 July 2019 after a lengthy suspension, which came into effect on 5 December 2018.

In a letter dated 17 July 2019, Motlatjo Ralefatane, the chairperson of ZADNA’s board, wrote: “Members would recall that Mr Vika Mpisane was on suspension pending the disciplinary hearing, which has been concluded. Stemming from those disciplinary actions, Mr Vika Mpisane’s employment as the Chief Executive Officer of ZADNA has been terminated with effect from 16 July 2019.”

Operations manager Peter Madavhu will continue as the acting CEO of .ZADNA until further notice.

.ZADNA is an entity of the Department of Telecommunications and Digital Services that manages and regulates the .za namespace, including domains like co.za, net.za, org.za and Web.za.

Mpisane joined .ZADNA as its GM in April 2006, and was tasked with setting up its operations. In October 2013, he became CEO.

The disciplinary hearing into an undisclosed matter was initiated in January. When asked why the investigation has taken almost five months, without a verdict being delivered, Ralefatane told ITWeb at the time that Mpisane tried every trick in the book to prolong the disciplinary process, while receiving his monthly salary from home.

“The reason this has taken so long is because Mpisane has had to hire a new legal team after his first team pulled out. The team was initially pleading for a settlement amount of around R1.6 million, which was not accepted by the board.”

Ralefatane added:  “He then went to the CCMA to stop the disciplinary proceedings, but he was unsuccessful. He took a long break and only appointed the second legal team after we pressured him about our intention to conclude this issue as soon as possible.

“His delay tactics are a very bad practice because he has been receiving a salary at home, while we have been fighting to conclude this matter.”

The disciplinary hearing saw a 300-page document detailing the undisclosed matter.

According to .ZADNA’s Web site, Mpisane has served in various local, regional and international Internet governance structures, through his association with .ZADNA.

He also led South African and African Internet community efforts to have the African Union Commission endorse ZACR's application to ICANN for the right to launch .Africa, which was eventually established in 2017.

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