Telkom awaits further clarity on Ramaphosa-sanctioned SIU probe

Following President Ramaphosa instructing the SIU to investigate wide-ranging maladministration and possible employee misconduct at the telco dating back as far as 15 years.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Africa’s largest integrated communications company Telkom says it needs further clarity on the scope of the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) investigation into possible maladministration and employee misconduct at the telecoms company, which was authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa via a Government Gazette on Tuesday.

In a Sens statement released on Wednesday, the telecoms group said it has noted the president’s directives to the SIU to investigate various Telkom dealings, including looking at processes followed in the acquiring and subsequent disposals of iWayAfrica, Africa Online Mauritius and Multi-Links Telecommunications businesses.

According to the notice published by the president, the SIU investigation into Telkom can go as far back as 2006.

“As the SIU investigation is now pending, we expect to receive further clarity on the scope of the investigation. Telkom will deal with the investigation on its merits in the appropriate forum, in the appropriate manner, at the appropriate time,” Telkom says.

“Telkom follows robust corporate governance principles and has done so in executing the Telkom strategy to consolidate its operations in South Africa,” the telco added.

Read: Ramaphosa orders wide-ranging probe into Telkom

Scope of SIU investigation

In the referral issued by the president, he said that it may be necessary for civil proceedings to ensue from the investigation as the state may have suffered losses that could still be recovered

The government is Telkom’s largest shareholder, with about 40% equity in the telco, along with this, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) – which manages state pension funds – holds an approximate 14% stake.

The president instructed the SIU to investigate the following allegations relating to Telkom:

  • Serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of Telkom;
  • Improper or unlawful conduct by employees, officials or agents of Telkom;
  • Unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property;
  • Unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon State property;
  • Intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property;
  • Unlawful or improper conduct by any person, which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public or any category thereof.

Read: Why Cyril is going after Telkom

However, Telkom says it has on numerous occasions reported on the dealings the President-sanctioned SIU investigation is interested in, adding that some of these have been ventilated in various courts.

“Matters surrounding the Multi-Links Telecommunications Limited transaction have been reported on previously and certain related issues have been dealt with in various courts with different jurisdictions in South Africa,” Telkom notes.

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Where is my spectrum? I want my spectrum!

Ramaphosa is throwing a presidential tantrum because his buddies are not getting their spectrum. Another ANC faction fight playing out in public. The ANC is like an elephant bull in musth, in a China shop.

Hmmmm, not sure whether the spectrum issue has anything to do with these investigations.
This spectrum, auction and digital dividend matters are rather complicated things. If you are not seriously technically informed and have not followed developments quite closely, rather be silent.
Rather keep preaching us about the cons of collectivism, quoting Frederic Bastiat.

A bat uses sonar to catch a moth in the dark of night. A shark uses the ampullae of Lorenzini to catch prey in low visibility. These are complicated issues.

The spectrum situation is very simple. The ongoing struggle to issue spectrum is due to the fact that vested interests are allowed to hold consumers at ransom – Frederic Bastiat.

End of comments.

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