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Claims of ‘toxic culture’ and abuse of funds rock flagship Western Cape organisation

Claims of ‘toxic culture’ and abuse of funds rock flagship Western Cape organisation
Lorenzo Davids. (Photo: Supplied) | Displaced people erect homes along train lines and parking lots in Lansdowne, Cape Town. (Photo: Gallo Images / Ziyaad Douglas) | Community Chest logo. (Photo: Supplied) | Displaced people leaving a Strandfontein shelter.(Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

A Daily Maverick investigation, published in four parts, has shone a spotlight on what has been going on behind closed doors at a well-known NPO, the Community Chest of the Western Cape. The 95-year-old organisation, which exists to uplift society, has been embroiled in accusations and counteraccusations, ranging from financial mismanagement and abuse of funds over a number of years. The Western Cape department of social development is now working with the organisation to establish if funding provided to the organisation has been misused.

PART 1: ‘Toxicity’ and finger pointing at people’s champ Lorenzo Davids – ‘irregular expenditure’ scandal rocks historic organisation

The Community Chest of the Western Cape is a historic non-profit organisation known for tackling poverty. But a Daily Maverick investigation has revealed that for years it was divided, with staff alleging financial mismanagement and a toxic workplace. This is the first of a four-part investigative series.

PART 2: ‘Social justice champ’ Lorenzo Davids labels bullying claims against him a smear campaign

Some Community Chest of the Western Cape staff accused a former CEO, acclaimed social justice activist Lorenzo Davids, of being a bully. He has hit back, claiming that there was a plot to unseat him. These and other accusations have rocked the non-profit organisation. This is part two of a four-part investigative series.

Former CEO of Community Chest, Lorenzo Davids. (Photo: Facebook)

PART 3: A computer tender and conflicting interest – the divisive money matters within a historic organisation

The awarding of a computer programme tender and bursaries to a family are among the many issues that raised concern at the Community Chest of the Western Cape, which is now the focus of financial mismanagement allegations. This is part three of a four-part investigative series.

PART 4: ‘Love in a hopeless place’ – how a wedding highlighted an organisation’s irreconcilable differences

While a former head of the Community Chest of the Western Cape described a wedding it helped fund as ‘an event of hope’, it turns out it was one of several issues relating to money that rubbed staff up the wrong way. This is the final part of a four-part investigative series. DM



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