Lazarus Zim is new Telkom chairman - TechCentral

Lazarus Zim is new Telkom chairman

Lazarus Zim

It’s official! Businessman Lazarus Zim is Telkom’s new nonexecutive chairman, replacing Jeff Molobela. He has been appointed to the position for a 12-month period by government.

TechCentral reported on Wednesday that Zim, who is founder of Afripalm Resources and a former head of Anglo American in SA, was likely to get the position. Molobela, whose chairmanship has proved highly controversial, will remain on the board as a nonexecutive director. He has been appointed as a director for a three-year term.

Zim’s appointment as chairman is effective from Wednesday, 16 February.

It’s the last time government is entitled to appoint the chairman of the group under its special “class-A” share rights, which expire on 5 March. Government is said to be concerned about losing the rights, which also give it veto power over the appointment of the CEO.

Zim’s first big task will be leading the process to find a new CEO for Telkom. Acting group CEO Jeffrey Hedberg has said he does not want the position permanently and will step down at the end of March.

Former Telkom chief financial officer Peter Nelson, who left in 2010 shortly after the early departure of former CEO Reuben September, has applied for the job. Telkom SA MD Nombulelo “Pinky” Moholi is also said to be front-runner for the position, though it’s not clear if she’d accept the post if it was offered to her.

Zim, who is close to President Jacob Zuma, brings a strong business background to the chairmanship of Telkom. He has previously served as CEO of M-Net, CEO of MIH SA, MD of MTN International and CEO of Anglo American SA. He is also a close associate of Atul Gupta, chairman of New Age Media, which publishes The New Age newspaper.

Telkom has also announced other changes to its board of directors. Navin Kapila, an Indian national with a background in telecommunications, has been appointed as a nonexecutive for three years.

Julia Hope and Jackie Huntley have been reappointed as directors, representing government on the board. The directorship of Victor Lawrence, also a government appointee, has been terminated.  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral


  1. Thanks the almighty that they appointed someone who has actually got business experience and it seems loads of it! It may be a political appointment clearly due to his strong connections to Zuma but at least he has pedigree and experience!
    I hope this helps to turn Helkom around!

  2. mmm well Peter Bruce at Business Day described him as a Zuma’s crony – in response Zim was just as a loose cannon as Malema. All that business experience hasnt really made a man out of him. Well Telkom needs to be privatised – so if he is the last of a deloyment we will see so be it.

  3. As long as goverment is still making appointments based on political allegiance, we are doomed to fail. Appointment should be make in the furthering the interest of business and development of our country socially and economically.

  4. I think 12 months is too short for Laz… to change the business for the better. Any changes made to large corp’s like Telkom, will show effect after 2 years only. With Laz possibly moving on in a year’s time the next guy (Nkozi maybe??) will also do his bit and so on and on. It’s my humble opinon that Telkom is doomed unless they follow Ntobeko’s advise.

  5. Lazarus Zim is a highly capable exec with a proven track record in several industries. He may be politically connected but he has also earned his place through a proven track record of delivery.

  6. free state, where true leaders are born, good luck with your steel company and your new position mr Zim

  7. PLEASE stop the political football games that are being played in South Africa and appoint people who CAN MAKE THINGS HAPPEN and are NOT there for their own benefits. Communication I have learnt from my many (52) years in business at all levels and businesses is the glue that holds everything together! Telkom must immediately stop ripping its customers off — especially the poor (I have proof of this now that I have had to start all over again as a poor man). I have written to the President in this regard. I trust the new CEO will start by reducing the exorbitant tariffs for a very shoddy service. I work with a security Management Information System (MIS) that saved British Telcom millions of pounds in one year but I ran into the “apartheid in reverse” scenario that is so prevalent in this country today. The indian fellows in control of Telkom’s security IT infrastructure just used some of my ideas to attempt to write their own system. IT is obviously not working! George

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