MTN South Africa said on Friday that it had been “vindicated” by the Johannesburg labour court, which had found “no merit” to claims by a former employee, Violet Magagane, that she was retrenched for exposing alleged corruption at the cellphone network operator.
Magagane had said she was retrenched shortly after tipping off vice-president Ignatius Sehoole of claims that a senior official, corporate services boss Robert Madzonga, had signed off on R12,2m in dodgy invoices. Sehoole asked PwC to investigate the claims.
“MTN South Africa welcomes the ruling by the labour court, which found no evidence that Magagane was unfairly dismissed for being a whistleblower. The ruling affirms our position that MTN is an ethical company that values integrity and fairness, and has zero tolerance for corruption and unethical business,” said chief human resources officer Themba Nyathi in a statement.
“For these reasons, particularly the court’s finding that Magagane’s dismissal was substantially fair, that MTN is satisfied with the outcome of the court case.”
However, the labour court ruled that, procedurally, Magagane’s dismissal was unfair as the timeframe between when she received her notice of retrenchment and input for alternatives was too tight and unreasonable, MTN said. “MTN has been ordered to pay Magagane six months compensation, while both parties will share the legal costs. Her claim for shares was, however, dismissed.” — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media, with Sapa