Wednesday, 26 January 2022
Pretoria: The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it will investigate the affairs of state-owned telecommunications company Telkom in relation to allegations of corruption, maladministration and improper conduct at the entity.
This after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a proclamation authorising the SIU to investigate the state owned company’s affairs.
The proclamation empowers the corruption-busting unit to investigate allegations related to:
- serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of Telkom;
- improper or unlawful conduct by employees, officials or agents of Telkom;
- unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property;
- unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon State property;
- intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property;
- offences referred to in the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004) and which offences were committed in connection with the affairs of Telkom; and
- unlawful or improper conduct by any person, which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public or any category thereof.
In a statement, the SIU said its investigation will cover alleged maladministration relating to the “sale or disposal” of Telkom acquired businesses iWayAfrica and Africa Online Mauritius and Multi-Links Telecommunications Limited and “any losses or prejudice suffered by Telkom or the State as a result of such maladministration”.
“The investigation will also extend to contracting for or procurement of telegraph services (telex and telegrams) and advisory services in respect of the broadband and mobile strategy of Telkom by or on behalf of Telkom, and payments made in respect thereof in a manner that was not fair, equitable, transparent, competitive or cost-effective; or contrary to applicable legislations,” the statement read.
According to the corruption busting unit, the investigation will cover a 16-year period.
“The investigation will cover transactions that took place between 1 June 2006 and 25 January 2022…and transactions that either took place before June 2006 or after January 2022 but relevant to, connected with the same persons, entities or contracts being investigated.
“President Ramaphosa has authorised the SIU to use all its legislative powers to subpoena bank statements and cellphone records, search and seize evidence, and interrogate witnesses under oath in an effort to hold those responsible to account for their actions,” the unit said.
The SIU said any evidence of wrongdoing in this regard will be sent to the National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks for either prosecution or further investigation.