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Suspended Telkom CFO's hearing to conclude by year end

Chris Spillane

Jacques Schindehutte, Telkom's suspended chief financial officer, expects a disciplinary process into his alleged misconduct to wrap up before 2015.

Telkom, which is 40% owned by South Africa's government, will report full-year earnings per share excluding one-time items of as much as R8.75 on June 13. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Telkom, Africa’s largest fixed-line operator, will probably resolve a disciplinary process into the alleged misconduct of suspended chief financial officer Jacques Schindehutte by the end of the year.

“It is a comprehensive process but I would like to think before the end of 2014” and not before the start of October, Schindehutte said by phone on Wednesday, when asked about the hearing. 

Pynee Chetty, a spokesperson for Pretoria-based Telkom, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and email seeking comment.

The chief financial officer (CFO)was suspended in October 2013 following the outcome of a board-commissioned investigation into unspecified allegations made against him. A disciplinary hearing began January 16. Chief executive Sipho Maseko said last year he wanted to manage the CFO’s alleged malpractice “quietly” and wasn’t keen to investigate it.

Telkom, which is 40% owned by South Africa’s government, will report full-year earnings per share excluding one-time items of as much as R8.75 on June 13, the company said last month. That compares with a restated R0.86 the previous year. Telkom shares have gained 50% in 2014, making them the third-best performer on the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index.

Deon Fredericks was appointed as acting Telkom CFO on October 24 and will fill the position until Schindehutte’s disciplinary process is concluded, according to a stock exchange announcement by Telkom. Neither the company nor the CFO have specified the nature of the alleged misconduct.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange “is engaging with the company on this matter and the company has undertaken to advise the JSE of the outcome of the process,” Andre Visser, general manager of issuer regulation at the JSE, said in an emailed response to questions.– Bloomberg

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