The labour court on Friday dismissed with costs the urgent application brought by MTN South Africa’s chief corporate services officer, Robert Madzonga, to have his suspension lifted.
Madzonga was suspended after MTN began an internal investigation into allegations of misconduct and irregularities against him.
MTN opposed Madzonga’s attempt by arguing successfully that his continued presence in the workplace could cause instability and jeopardise the investigations against him.
In his application, Madzonga claimed the operator suspended him after he lodged a grievance against three of its executives. He also attributed his suspension to previous allegations of misconduct made against him, for which he received a warning in 2011. Madzonga claimed this means he is protected by the notion of “double jeopardy”. In other words, he can’t be investigated for the same offence twice if exonerated the first time.
MTN convinced the court that new information had come to light that necessitated further investigations against Madzonga. It said that although Madzonga has been suspended, no charges had been laid against him.
The operator has been tight-lipped about the motivation for Madzonga’s suspension, but earlier this month, Business Day reported that he had allegedly played a role in the diversion of sponsorship funds for the ICT Indaba that may have prompted president Jacob Zuma to remove Dina Pule as communications minister.
The newspaper added that Madzonga was threatening to take take legal action against former MTN South Africa MD Karel Pienaar, human resource director Themba Nyathi and GM of business risk management Lily Zondo.
Zondo allegedly accused Madzonga of receiving some of the money paid to Pule’s boyfriend, Phosane Mngqibisa, as a management fee for last year’s indaba. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media