EOH suspends employees implicated in graft-tainted contracts

EOH Holdings Ltd suspended some employees involved in deals being reviewed by its lawyers after an anonymous complaint prompted Microsoft Corp to cancel a contract with the South African IT company.

“We have either suspended or received resignations from involved employees, resulting in none of the employees currently implicated remaining in the business,” EOH chief executive officer Stephen van Coller said in a letter to staff.

The CEO confirmed that he wrote the message.

EOH shares plunged after Microsoft ended its association with the company earlier this month. The Johannesburg-based firm has hired forensic accounting teams to investigate its public-sector contracts, and has identified fewer than six deemed necessary for detailed review, said Van Coller.

The stock pared gains to trade 0.3% lower as of 10 a.m. in Johannesburg. EOH has slumped 42% this year, the worst performer on the FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index.

Last week, the company launched a whistle-blower app Expose-It, to make the process of sharing sensitive information on the company safer and easier.

“Several people have come forward to share knowledge on issues,” the CEO said. “In some cases, we have been given a lot of detail and on others, we have received indications of where we should look.”

Van Coller, a former executive of lender Absa Group Ltd and wireless carrier MTN Group Ltd, was brought in by EOH last year partly to restore the company’s reputation and boost corporate governance.

Read: EOH in a race to restructure before shareholders and lenders run out of patience

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EOH suspends employees implicated in graft-tainted contracts