The Black Business Council has lashed out at Telkom over the departure of BCX (formerly Business Connexion) CEO Isaac Mophatlane, accusing the telecommunications operator of “an attack on black excellence”.
Telkom said on Sunday that Mophatlane had resigned and that his last day was last Friday, 28 April. The development was unexpected, with Mophatlane having been appointed as CEO of the merged Business Connexion and Telkom Business units less than a year ago.
Mophatlane founded BCX with his twin brother, Benjamin Mophatlane, who passed away in 2014. He took the reins as CEO of the business following his brother’s death.
Telkom said in an e-mail to TechCentral on Sunday that although Mophatlane had resigned, he would continue to consult to the group’s CEO, Sipho Maseko, for three months “to ensure a seamless transition”. Ian Russell was named as Mophatlane successor as BCX CEO.
But the Black Business Council has now claimed that Mophatlane, far from resigning, was forced out. “There’s no magic solution to avoid the hurt feelings, the tension [and]the discomfort this development has caused among our members,” said council chairman Sello Rasethaba.
“This is an attack on black excellence. The government, as a major shareholder in Telkom, should bow its head in shame to allow chairman Jabu Mabuza and Maseko to erode confidence in black professionals and to leave black children without a heritage of entrepreneurial success,” Rasethaba said in a statement.
The council hit out at Telkom for not appointing a black professional to replace Mophatlane. “Mabuza and Maseko preferred to replace Mophatlane with a white man. It is a demonstration that they do not care about black economic empowerment. They are encouraging the exodus of black executives from Telkom,” he said.
“The [council]is appealing to Mabuza and Maseko to believe in black excellence and stop the self-hatred, stop the exodus of black professionals from Telkom and restore Telkom to its former glory as a champion of black economic empowerment.”
Telkom has been asked to comment on the council’s allegations. — © 2017 NewsCentral Media