Another day, another MTN scandal

MTN has waved goodbye to yet another executive, as Eleanor Potter has resigned under yet another cloud of controversy, BusinessDay reported.

MTN confirmed that Potter, GM for branded retail channel — responsible for the MTN retail outlets – has left the company, adding that an investigation had been launched against the executive in 2012.

According to BusinessDay, the investigation was over a R120 million tender irregularity, while Potter also stood accused of putting data modems that were “against network capabilities” and “had failed laboratory tests”, to market.

“It has been alleged that Ms (Mitrovich) Potter directed the purchase of laptop computers to a vendor that lost out on the quotation process. The vendor did not have a contract with MTN,” read documents seen by Business Day.

“An estimated amount of R120 million was spent on the vendor in question as opposed to the R8 million spent on the approved and contracted vendor within the same period.”

The letter also alleged that Potter engaged Alcatel with the view of purchasing data modems in contravention of MTN’s procurement policy.

BusinessDay also reported that marketing GM Mike Farion, had also been under scrutiny for allegedly extorting television sets, home theatres and play stations from Samsung.

MTN said in a statement:

“MTN confirms that certain allegations were made against Eleanor Potter, in 2012. As with any other allegation, the company took these seriously and accordingly investigated during the course of last year.

“The investigation concluded that the allegations were unfounded. MTN also confirms that Eleanor has recently resigned to pursue her own interests. Furthermore, allegations leveled against Mike Fairon were also investigated and the conclusion was that the allegations were unfounded.”

The paper said that Potter received a golden handshake of more than 18 months’ salary, along with shares said to be worth between R10 million and R15 million.

MTN has been beset by internal scandal over the past several months, with the group suspending its chief corporate services officer in South Africa, Robert Madzonga, for allegedly authorizing R12.3 million in questionable payments to a legal friend.

And in July, the world’s sixth-largest mobile company announced that group chief financial officer and executive financial director, Nazir Patel had resigned amid an internal investigation.

It is alleged that Patel left the company because he “broke … procedures by diverting money out of MTN’s thriving business” in Iran, a territory in which the company also came under fire for amid allegations of bribery to secure a licence.

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Another day, another MTN scandal