Telkom CEO appears in court on car fraud allegations

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko. Photo: Muntu Vilakazi
Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko. Photo: Muntu Vilakazi

Johannesburg - Telkom [JSE:TKG] CEO Sipho Maseko appeared in a Johannesburg court on Friday after being summoned to respond to allegations of traffic regulation fraud.

Police started investigating Maseko last July after he was accused of cloning car licence plates to avoid traffic fines. Mabena Motshoane, who had bought a black Range Rover previously owned by Maseko, received about R30 000 in penalties linked to a newer model vehicle with the same license plate, he said at the time.

Maseko “appeared at the Wynberg Magistrate Court today for fraud,” South African Police Service spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said by e-mail, without giving further details of the case.

“Mr Maseko did appear,” Telkom spokesperson Jacqui O’Sullivan said by e-mail. “The allegations all relate to claims regarding a motor vehicle licence.” Maseko didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.

Maseko, a qualified lawyer, has been CEO of Telkom since April 2013. He was previously chief operating officer of Vodacom Group [JSE:VOD] and CEO of BP in southern Africa.

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

Telkom shares have quadrupled under Maseko’s leadership as the company cut costs and boosted revenue after a decline in landline use hurt the business.

The company returned to profit for the first time in three years in fiscal 2014, and said last month it will pay its first dividend since 2011.

The stock traded 2.5% lower at R60.88 rand as of 14:20 in Johannesburg, valuing the company at R32bn.

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