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Former Cell C executive bids for bail in R64m fraud case

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A former Cell C executive, Mohamed Ismail Adamjee, who is facing R64 million fraud charges, is expected to apply for bail tomorrow amid reports that more people will be charged for the crime.

The 44-year-old former IT manager was arrested last week by the Hawks in connection with the alleged multimillion-rand tender scam.

Adamjee appeared in the Palm Ridge Commercial Crimes Court on Friday, facing charges of fraud and corruption.

It is alleged that during the period 2012 to 2019, he colluded with a director of a contracted entity responsible for IT and network services at his workplace. They reportedly inflated invoices, which resulted in a loss of over R64 million to Cell C.

The financially-troubled mobile operator says it has a zero-tolerance policy towards illegal or unethical activity and will not hesitate to act on evidence and take the appropriate action.

“The company acted swiftly on the matter of an employee being involved in an incident of collusion. Cell C is fully supporting the authorities in the case and will allow the law to take its course,” it says.

The fraud case comes at a time Cell C is facing serious financial challenges, as evidenced by the company’s recent performance.

Cell C recorded R7.5 billion net loss after tax in the six months ended June 2020.

The current losses were preceded by a massive double-digit drop in its subscriber base; however, Cell C remains optimistic and is forging ahead with its restructuring strategy to optimise operations.

The company is currently involved in a bitter fight with trade unions over retrenchments. Cell C has consistently under-performed, incurring R33 billion in losses over the years.

Cell C is still awaiting conclusion of a new funding deal being negotiated by Blue Label Telecoms, the largest shareholder of Cell C.

Blue Label promised last year that the telco will be recapitalised as the key partners have made huge inroads in negotiating the funding deal.

Brett Levy, Blue Label’s joint-CEO, noted in a media virtual roundtable that Cell C recap negotiations had been strenuous for the past year-and-a-half, but all parties to the proposed deal have been engaging, and conclusion of the transaction was expected before year-end.

No further details have been provided since then.


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