Suspended acting Post Office CEO ready to fight 'frivolous' charges - lawyer

It has emerged that the acting SA Post Office CEO Lindiwe Kwele has been suspended - only four months after assuming the role.

Advocate Eric Mabuza says he is representing Kwele, calling the charges against her "frivolous".   

Business Day first reported on Monday that Kwele was suspended in early December 2019. Mabuza confirmed the suspension. 

He said the charges relate to, among other things, "general restructuring" and issues surrounding procurement of laptops.

Kwele took over the running of the Post Office in August 2019 after the resignation of Mark Barnes. Before that she had a number of years' experience working in various senior leadership positions.

Mabuza told Fin24 on Monday that the suspension is being challenged and has been referred to arbitration. According to Mabuza the Post Office's board is delaying the process.

He said Kwele was suspended about two weeks after the new board of the state-owned entity was appointed in November last year. 

"How could the new board have familiarised themselves with matters at the SAPO within just two weeks? They are trying to remove a competent person so no one can hold them to account," claims Mabuza. "She was just implementing decisions by the previous board. She finds herself in the midst of politics being played out."

The post office is facing increasing losses, which reached R1.1bn for the 2018/19 financial year.

Despite the suspension, she is still listed as the group's acting CEO on the Post Office's website. The Post Office did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Monday morning.

Mabuza also confirmed that he is also still representing Peter Moyo in his case against Old Mutual. In that case an application has been filed on Moyo's behalf in the Supreme Court of Appeal. Old Mutual has won its appeal against an earlier order reinstating its former CEO Moyo.

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