Telkom executives resign under a cloud
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.
Telkom Tower in Pretoria. Three Telkom executives have resigned.