Telkom ex­ec­u­tives re­sign un­der a cloud

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - KARABO NGOEPE

THREE Telkom ex­ec­u­tives have re­signed fol­low­ing their han­dling of a R755 mil­lion con­tract awarded un­der sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances.

In­sid­ers at the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany have lifted the lid on deals which al­legedly en­sured pre­ferred com­pa­nies were awarded the lu­cra­tive con­tract. They al­legedly by­passed pro­cure­ment pro­cesses and brought in two com­pa­nies, Com­bined Pri­vate In­ves­ti­ga­tion and SMADA, which got the lion’s share.

“Telkom head of se­cu­rity Wayne Louis, his boss Praven Naidoo and head of pro­cure­ment in Telkom Henk Ober­holzer have all re­signed,” said a source, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Their res­ig­na­tions come as the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany was busy with in­ves­ti­ga­tions into their con­duct in re­la­tion to the ten­der. That process now seems to have fallen flat with no in­di­ca­tions of what was dis­cov­ered and what steps would have been taken.

The source has ques­tioned why the com­pany al­lowed them to re­sign with­out hav­ing taken ap­pro­pri­ate steps over their al­leged in­volve­ment.

“It is un­der­stood that the three ex­ec­u­tives were re­quired to re­sign and, in re­turn, no cor­rup­tion case would be opened against them. It is still a mys­tery how Telkom would avoid pro­vi­sions of sec­tion 34 of the Preven­tion of Or­gan­ised Crime Act , which com­pels fraud cases over R100 000 to be re­ported to the po­lice,” said the source.

In July 2016, the state-owned en­tity re­quested au­dit­ing firm KPMG to iden­tify suit­able ser­vice providers to sub­mit bids for phys­i­cal guard­ing and net­work pro­tec­tion ser­vices. The cri­te­ria given to KPMG in­cluded in­dus­try over­view, sup­ply mar­ket anal­y­sis, com­peti­tor key client over­view, best prac­tice con­tract­ing mod­els and SWOT anal­y­sis on key sup­pli­ers. In Au­gust, a KPMG re­port iden­ti­fied 21 ser­vice providers that could be in­vited to ten­der.

The sub­ject mat­ter eval­u­a­tion team re­viewed the ser­vice providers rec­om­mended by KPMG and only seven were found to be suit­able.

Fol­low­ing the process to iden­tify these seven com­pa­nies, two busi­ness re­questers, Louis and Pot­gi­eter, added three ser­vice providers based on their in­dus­try knowl­edge. These were SMADA, Com­bined Pri­vate In­ves­ti­ga­tions and SSG.

Nine ser­vice providers were pre­sented to the sourc­ing con­tracts ap­proval coun­cil (SCAC) in Septem­ber 2016 to be in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in a closed ten­der process. This was ap­proved by the SCAC and a ten­der was then is­sued to all ser­vice providers.

Telkom spokesper­son No­ma­lun­gelo Faku con­firmed that the trio had re­signed and fur­ther in­di­cated that they were not given golden hand­shakes to leave the com­pany. She also failed to give de­tails re­gard­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion that was launched by the com­pany.

“The three in­di­vid­u­als have each re­signed from the or­gan­i­sa­tion. Pay­ments, if any, due to em­ploy­ees on res­ig­na­tion are based on the terms and con­di­tions of em­ploy­ment and rules of the Telkom pen­sion and re­tire­ment funds based on mem­ber con­tri­bu­tions to the re­spec­tive funds. Con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions signed by au­tho­rised Telkom em­ploy­ees dur­ing their pe­riod of em­ploy­ment at Telkom are Telkom con­tracts and are man­aged as part of stan­dard con­tract man­age­ment pro­cesses,” she said.

PIC­TURE: SIMPHIWE MBOKAZI/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA) AR­CHIVE

Telkom Tower in Pre­to­ria. Three Telkom ex­ec­u­tives have re­signed.

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