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ZADNA CEO suspended for “hybrid misconduct”

The CEO of South Africa’s ccTLD registry has reportedly been suspended amid claims of “acts of misconduct”.

According to reports in the local tech press, Vika Mpisane was suspended in early December and has been subject to a delayed disciplinary process since January.

“Mr Vika Mpisane was suspended for serious hybrid acts of misconduct including mismanagement of ZADNA funds and others,” ZADNA chair Motlatjo Ralefatane told MyBroadband.

While details are rather thin on the ground, there are local rumors that some of the allegations relate to Mpisane’s salary and bonuses.

Ralefatane reportedly said that forensic accounting investigations are ongoing.

ZADNA, the ZA Domain Name Authority, is a non-profit organization and official ccTLD manager for .za. It answers to the South African government, but is not funded by it. It should not be confused with ZACR, the commercial entity that actually runs the .za registry on ZADNA’s behalf.

Mpisane has come under increased scrutiny this week as it turns out he is running unopposed for the Southern Africa seat on the board of AFRINIC, the Regional Internet Registry responsible for handing out IP addresses on the continent, apparently without ZADNA’s knowledge.

According to MyBroadband, Ralefatane believes Mpisane should not be representing that he has ZADNA’s support for his run.

His CV (pdf), posted to the AFRINIC web site in April, states that he is the current CEO of ZADNA, with no reference to his suspension.

Ralefatane reportedly added that she is not sure if AFRINIC or ICANN are aware of the allegations against him. They are now.

Mpisane is still listed on ZADNA’s web site as its CEO, also with no reference to the suspension.

His bio on the site reads, in its entirety (errors from the original): “The voice of reason and wisdom An outstanding leader with passion about the internet and what is has to offer. He walks the talk and talks the talk”.

.africa gTLD applicant caught using fake identity

Kevin Murphy, December 4, 2012, Domain Policy

DotConnectAfrica executive director Sophia Bekele has been rumbled using a fake identity to post to an ICANN mailing list, but says she did so due to “hatred” from other posters.

Members of the AfrICANN list discovered this week that a poster going by the name of “Lerato Ma” had Bekele’s name in her email headers.

Over several months, “Ma” had frequently defended DCA, which is locked in a bitter contention battle over the .africa gTLD.

Bekele told DI that she had been forced to used a pseudonym due to the hostility she’s experienced on the list when posting under her real name.

“The open display of hatred, aggression and personal anonymity [sic] towards my person and DCA is compelling me to post under Lerato Ma,” she said in an email.

“There is nothing to hide, it is just to protect myself from all that aggression,” she added. “It is not an important issues for us.”

AfrICANN is not an official ICANN mailing list, nor does it have any power. It’s hosted by Afrinic, the African IP address registry, and is used to discuss issues related to ICANN in Africa.

Unlike most ICANN mailing lists, which operate under a code of acceptable behavior, it has a fairly rough-and-tumble tone to it. Bekele and DCA are sometimes mocked by name.