Altron unit suspends three execs for irregularities allegations

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Mteto Nyati, Altron group chief executive.
Mteto Nyati, Altron group chief executive.

Three senior executives of Altron Nexus, a subsidiary of JSE-listed technology company Altron, have been placed on precautionary suspension following an investigation that has revealed potential internal irregularities.

However, the company did not mention the names of the suspended executives. 

Nonetheless, on its Web site, Alton Nexus has Brett Nash as managing director; Noel Watermeyer, sales executive; Sanjay Maharajh, sales executive; Mandla Booi, sales executive; JT Engelbrecht, operations executive; Kobus Greeff, finance executive; Sheethal Maharaj, human capital executive; and Mongezi Skosana, marketing executive.

The JSE-listed company says after receiving information from a whistleblower in June 2018, Altron appointed independent investigators to look into alleged procurement irregularities among a few senior executives within Altron Nexus.

The investigation found no evidence of irregularities but made recommendations on procurement process improvements and reporting obligations, which were implemented.

In June this year Altron says it received a second tip-off from a whistleblower on similar allegations. The company immediately initiated another investigation conducted by forensic services company, Naledi Advisory Services.

It says the preliminary findings have revealed potential deviation from procurement processes, involving an estimated R23 million, and early profit recognition of approximately R20 million in the 2018 financial year.

“We view these allegations in a serious light. Accordingly, this investigation is in line with our zero-tolerance to unethical conduct, despite the amounts not being material to Altron’s financial position. Over the past three years, we have been steadfast in building a culture of good governance driven by our values of openness, honesty and integrity. Our employees are now able to come forward with any claims of misconduct without any fear of retaliation,” says Altron group chief executive Mteto Nyati.

He adds: “We are following due process and the three executives may go through a disciplinary hearing, overseen by an independent chairman. While the investigation is on-going, we would like to assure our customers, partners and employees that plans have been put in place to ensure business continuity at Altron Nexus,” Nyati says.

Tshwane broadband project

In June, Altron Nexus lost a court battle launched by the City of Tshwane over the city’s multibillion-rand broadband project.

The City of Tshwane subjected the multibillion-rand broadband contract to judicial review after discovering what it says were serious irregularities, which “taint the legality of the deal”.

Altron Nexus holds a jointly controlled interest in Thobela Telecoms, a special purpose vehicle through which the City of Tshwane contracted for the procurement and installation of a fibre broadband network in 2016.

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