Senior Telkom sources say Molobela’s contract as chairman expired at the end of last week and has not been renewed.
Molobela, who is seen as close to sacked communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda, was appointed to the position a year ago, replacing Shirley Arnold.
TechCentral could not reach Molobela for comment. And Telkom acting group CEO Jeffrey Hedberg says he is unable to comment as he is “unaware of the terms and conditions of the chairman’s contract”.
President Jacob Zuma’s decision to replace Nyanda with former deputy communications minister Roy Padayachie has placed a question mark over whether Molobela’s contract will be renewed for another year.
It’s understood Molobela continues as a nonexecutive director of Telkom – he was appointed as a director of the board for a three-year term. However, the position of group chairman is reviewed annually.
Government has a right to appoint the chairman of Telkom in terms of a special share it holds in the group. It loses this special privilege early next year and this may play a role in who is appointed to the position.
Molobela has proved to be a controversial and divisive figure at Telkom. He played a pivotal role in engineering the exit of former group CEO Reuben September. And disagreements he had with Peter Nelson are believed to be the main reason the former chief financial officer quit the group.
Pearl Seopela, chief director for communications in the department of communications, says the matter was meant to be discussed in a cabinet committee meeting on Wednesday.
But cabinet spokesman Themba Maseko says a full sitting of cabinet, where recommendations will be tabled, is scheduled only for next week. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral