The disciplinary hearing involving suspended Telkom chief financial officer Jacques Schindehütte will begin in Johannesburg tomorrow, Thursday, the telecommunications operator has said in a statement.
“This disciplinary hearing is the outcome of a process that began last year, when Telkom received certain allegations regarding the conduct of Mr Schindehütte,” the company said.
Neither Schindehütte nor Telkom have said why he was suspended. Schindehütte has consistently denied that a R6m loan granted to him by the company, which he used to buy shares in the telecommunications operator, was behind the suspension. Telkom on Tuesday said that Schindehütte had a “fiduciary duty” to repay the money as the loan was granted in a manner that was “inconsistent with the provisions of the Companies Act, making the transaction null and void”.
Schindehütte told TechCentral at the time that both the loan agreement and the subsequent purchase of R6m worth of Telkom shares had the approval of both Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza and CEO Sipho Maseko. But Telkom this week said the board could not and did not ratify the granting of the loan. The company had an “obligation to claim the loan back in roder to rectify the situation”.
Schindehütte has reportedly agreed to repay the R6m.
“Following the receipt of the allegations, the board of directors tasked an independent legal firm to investigate the allegations,” Telkom said in its latest statement.
“A report was completed and presented to the board by the law firm. The board considered the report, applied its mind and took professional advice,” it said.
“In October last year, the board determined that the fairest way forward was to provide Mr Schindehütte the opportunity to defend himself in a disciplinary hearing,” Telkom said.
“In the interest of ensuring a fair process, all parties to the confidential disciplinary hearing are constrained from discussing the matter outside the hearing itself or commenting on its content to third parties. Telkom respects this process and is therefore not in a position to comment on any details related to the matter until the outcome is decided.
“Telkom is committed to following the correct principles and processes to ensure that the hearing is conducted in a fair and dignified manner which meets all legal and governance requirements. The outcome of the hearing will also follow the prescribed board processes before being communicated publicly.
“In the interests of transparency, Telkom is committed to communicating the outcome once all required legal and governance processes have been followed.” — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media