Telkom looking into complaint after ‘whistle-blowing’ letter

2014-01-21 08:52

Telkom is reviewing a letter of complaint it received from a group of unidentified people who say they are employees.

The grievances focus on the hiring of company executives and the alleged misuse of funds.

“The company notes the contents of the letter and is dealing with the matter in accordance with its whistle-blowing policy and process,” Telkom said yesterday.

“As such, Telkom is unable to respond to queries that relate to matters contained in the letter of complaint while these processes are under way.”

The letter, addressed to company secretary Xoliswa Makasi, asks the company to act on a series of allegations. It is signed by “The Group of 6 Telkom Whistle-blowers/employees”.

Telkom, which is 40% government-owned, is struggling to revive revenue in a country that has leapfrogged fixed-line technology in favour of smartphone devices that are driving a boom in data usage across Africa.

Revenue has declined every year since 2009, according to Bloomberg data.

The eight-page letter was written by staff working at the company’s finance, sponsorship, secretarial/administration, legal and ethics departments, according to the document.

It was also sent to Boston management consultancy Bain & Co, which has a contract to help turn around the company, and New York recruitment company Spencer Stuart Inc, according to the copy provided to Bloomberg.

“It is impossible to ascertain the veracity, or otherwise, of allegations made,” Telkom said on Friday in a response to questions.

The company urged the letter writers to use official company channels to lay complaints and said these channels were used to decide on an “appropriate course of action”.

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