Telkom probes allegation against boss

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TelkomW Independent Newspapers. A Telkom advert. Photo: Leon Nicholas.

Johannesburg - Telkom will probe allegations that chief executive Sipho Maseko cloned car license plates to avoid traffic fines.

The case is “in no way related” to Telkom, Pynee Chetty, a company spokesman, said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News.

Maseko referred questions to his personal spokesman, who declined to comment when reached by phone.

“The company is aware that Mr. Maseko has presented himself to the authorities and that he is committed to resolving the issue within the ambit of the law,” Chetty said.

“Telkom trusts that he will continue to work with the relevant authorities until the matter is resolved and therefore has no further comment on this matter.”

The Star newspaper, which is owned by Independent Newspapers, reported last week that Maseko is accused of running up about R30 000 in traffic fines that were sent instead to Mabena Motshoane.

A police investigation is under way, according to Wayne Minnaar, spokesman for the Johannesburg traffic police.

The City of Johannesburg also confirmed Motshoane’s complaint against Maseko.

Motshoane runs a company called Purple-Blue Technologies.

 

Black Range Rover

 

Motshoane bought a black Range Rover from a used-car dealership called EJX Auto last year that previously belonged to Maseko, according to documents he showed to Bloomberg News.

Following the purchase, Motshoane received several traffic fines linked to a newer model Range Rover with the same license plate, he said.

“I was driving down the highway from Pretoria to Johannesburg and I saw the car with my number plate so I flashed my lights and pulled him over,” Motshoane said in an interview in a restaurant near Soweto.

He believed the driver of the other car was Maseko, he said.

Motshoane has filed a complaint with the police, alleging that the Telkom chief executive cloned the license plates of his old Range Rover resulting in speeding fines being sent to the new owner.

“The board will look into the matter,” Telkom chief risk officer Ouma Rasethaba said by phone.

“We haven’t seen a docket. The matter hasn’t been lodged formally with us.”

Maseko said by phone he couldn’t immediately comment because he was in a meeting and that his personal spokesman, Dick Foxton, would comment.

He didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed questions.

Foxton declined to comment when contacted by mobile phone.

“A high-level investigation is currently under way,” police spokesman Minnaar said by phone.

“The docket will soon be handed over to the South African Police Service and the director of prosecutions for a decision on the matter.”

Telkom is about 40 percent owned by the South African government.

“I’m still pondering over” the story, Kholeka Mzondeki, a Telkom board member, said by mobile phone.

“It’s probably a confusion. I’m sure the appropriate action will be taken. I will leave it with the chairman.” - Bloomberg News



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