Telkom takes Ramaphosa to court in bid to stop SIU probe
Paula Luckhoff | TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod explains the background of the Telkom saga and why it's pushing back - on The Money Show
Telkom is taking President Cyril Ramaphosa to court over the probe he ordered into alleged malfeasance at the telecoms provider.
Ramaphosa asked the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in January to investigate reports of corruption at the semi-state owned company
These include its dealings in in Nigeria and Mauritius through companies sold off years ago.
Telkom has now filed papers at the North Gauteng High Court to stop the investigation into its African operations dating back as far as 2006.
It wants Ramaphosa's decision declared unconstitutional and invalid.
At the time, TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod argued that the President’s decision was a political move rather than "a sudden desire to unearth old dirt at the telecommunications group".
Bruce Whitfield asks McLeod to explain the reasons behind the President's decision .
The TechCentral editor says while Ramaphosa's exact motivation is not clear, it seems to have its genesis in complaints lodged with the SIU by one Edward Scott.
Scott runs Phutuma Networks, a company that tendered for telex businesses way back in 2005
Scott had a big beef about how Telkom handled that tender process. Telkom claims the contract was never awarded, but he says it was given to another company in an underhanded way.Duncan McLeod, Editor - TechCentral
I think he's been stirring up a lot of the allegations... and things that happened at Telkom during this period... There **were** a lot of problems Telkom went through, including a disastrous investment in Nigeria where they bought a company called Multi-links.Duncan McLeod, Editor - TechCentral
Telkom at the time also sold off this and other African businesses quite cheaply, he says.
According to McLeod it was Scott who approached the SIU, who then in turn approached the President for permission to continue with the investigation and sign a proclamation in this regard.
He says the issuing of a proclamation is how the process works for the SIU.
Why is Telkom - currently being wooed by MTN - pushing back like this? Whitfield asks.
While McLeod doesn't believe the issue is big enough to dissuade MTN from its attempt to purchase Telkom, an investigation could expose "a lot skeletons in cupboards" he says.
Listen to the discussion on The Money Show:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Telkom takes Ramaphosa to court in bid to stop SIU probe