Neotel financial head steps down amid bribery claims

Under-fire telecoms firm Neotel says that its chief financial officer, Steven Whiley, has stepped down from the company.

Whiley, along with CEO Sunil Joshi, had been placed on special leave at the company after auditors, Deloitte, blew the whistle on R100 million in questionable payments to a company called Homix.

“The placing of Mr Steven Whiley on leave was a Board initiated process, whilst an investigation was being conducted into certain transactions involving Neotel (Pty) Ltd and Homix,” Neotel said in a statement on Friday.

“Mr Steven Whiley complied with this process, cooperated therewith and fully supported the Board of Neotel, for which the Board is most grateful. With the information currently at its disposal the Board is satisfied that Steven Whiley has at all times acted with integrity.”

As a result of the lengthy duration of the investigation, Neotel said that Whiley has decided to pursue his own interests, and will resign from Neotel with effect from 30 November 2015.

Last month Neotel said it is nearing the end of the disciplinary process regarding the alleged bribery to secure R2-billion worth of Transnet deals.

The Mail & Guardian linked the payments to a bid to clinch billions of rands in deals from Transnet.

Deloitte questioned the commerciality of the fees, and reported the matter to the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors.

Neotel’s R7 billion merger with Vodacom, meanwhile, has been postponed indefinitely while new terms are discussed.

It was reported that Neotel being implicated in an alleged bribery scandal, may have influenced Vodacom’s plans to acquire the company.

More on Neotel

Neotel bribery probe nearing completion

Bribery allegations could influence Vodacom’s plans to buy Neotel

Neotel in alleged bribery scandal: report

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Neotel financial head steps down amid bribery claims