File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

Johannesburg - MTN, Africa’s biggest wireless operator, named Gold Fields Ltd.’s Michael Fleischer as its chief legal counsel.

He will start work on February 1, spokesman Nik Kershaw said today by phone.

Fleischer, who joined Gold Fields in 2006 and is its general counsel, will step down from the South African mining company tomorrow, according to a January 20 statement, which didn’t give a reason for his resignation.

Gold Fields is being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the sale of a stake in its South Deep mine in 2010 under a South African program to expand black ownership.

Chief executive Nick Holland waived his 2013 bonus because of concerns over the deal and the board pledged to improve transparency and communication.

Fleischer hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing.

MTN, based in Johannesburg, is also facing legal issues.

Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, Turkey’s biggest mobile-phone operator, said in November it’s suing MTN for a second time over the award of an Iranian mobile-phone license. - Bloomberg News