MTN has suspended one of its executives over alleged links to Dina Pule’s telecommunications indaba scandal, says a report.
The Business Day reported on Monday that Robert Madzonga, who has been suspended also threatened to take take legal action against former MTN South Africa managing director Karel Pienaar, human resource director Themba Nyathi and general manager of business risk management Lily Zondo.
"MTN’s chief corporate services officer, Robert Madzonga, and company executives are involved in a messy fight over his alleged role in diverting the sponsorship money of the ICT [Information and Communication Technology] Indaba. In addition, allegations of abuse of power and victimisation have been made," reported the newspaper.
Zondo allegedly accused Madzonga of receiving some of the money paid to former communications minister Dina Pule's boyfriend Phosa Mngqibisa, as a management fee for the controversial ICT Indaba last year.
Last month, President Jacob Zuma dismissed Pule, who had been dogged by controversy for months over the allegations of funnelling contracts and government resources to Mngqibisa during the indaba.
On August 7, the axed minister was found guilty of improperly benefiting Mngqibisa and faced the maximum penalties allowed by Parliament.
Parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members interests found Pule guilty of breaching the code of conduct for Members of Parliament. She was reprimanded by the speaker of the National Assembly during a sitting of the House, fined an equivalent of 30 days salary, had her privileges suspended for 15 days and was excluded from any parliamentary debates or committees during that period.
The committee said it would have given her more severe penalties but it was limited by the rules of Parliament.
Madzonga reportedly considers the accusation of ties to Pule defamatory. He also lodged a grievance over the allegation.
MTN confirmed the suspension but gave no details, saying it was "not in a position to divulge the nature of these internal matters".