Suspended exec lashes out at MTN: report

 ·1 Sep 2013

Suspended MTN executive, Robert Madzonga has lashed out at mobile operator MTN, saying that the recent string of suspensions, resignations and disciplinary action at the operator are as a result of top management covering their tracks.

According to a report in the City Press, Madzonga says that the operator is being unfair in its disciplinary processes; most notably in treating his “white counterparts” – Eleanor Potter and Mike Fairon.

“By making some comparison with my white counterparts who have recently been in the media for alleged similar transgressions of procurement policy, I found it hard to believe that Eleanor, with such a dossier of transgressions, has been protected by a huge golden handshake and with regard to Mike, nothing has been done,” Madzonga reportedly said in correspondence with MTN Group CEO, Sifiso Dabengwa.

“This can only be the fact that there are different rules for different folks.”

It was reported that Potter, who was under investigation in 2012 over a R120 million tender irregularity, had been given a golden handshake of 18 months’ salary and R10-R15 million in shares.

According to the report, however, MTN maintains that she left for “personal reasons” and is serving her notice.

MTN suspended Madzonga because he allegedly authorised R12.3 million in questionable payments to a legal friend.

However, Madzonga has argued that he was suspended because of an internal grievance claim against senior manager, Lily Zondo.

Zondo accused Madzonga of receiving some of the money paid to former communications minister Dina Pule’s boyfriend Phosa Mngqibisa, as a management fee for the ICT indaba in 2012.

There is an ongoing defamation cas between Madzonga and Zondo.

According to the report, MTN SA has confirmed that it was paying Zondo’s legal fees in the defamation case, despite having not seen any proof of Zondo’s claims.

City Press confirmed information in a report compiled by Werksmans Attorneys to look into the indaba’s sponsorship deal, in line with Madzonga’s claims that MTN Group’s head of strategy, Karel Pienaar, and former MTN SA head of marketing Serame Taukobong signed off the sum in question.

MTN has commissioned an audit by KPMG to look into its internal matters.


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