Telecom Namibia suspends executives over fraud allegations

Telecom Namibia suspends executives over fraud allegations

Telecom Namibia on Wednesday announced its suspension of three senior executives, pending an investigation into a N$12 million contract, which is alleged to be fraudulent.
In an internal memo, addressed to "all Telecom Namibia staff", the company confirmed suspension of its Chief Financial Officer Robert Offner, its Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management Dr Ben van der Merwe, and Head of Corporate Governance, Legal Services and Regulatory Affairs, Jinah Buys.
Reports that Telecom Namibia was swindled into paying over N$4,8 million between March 2016 and June 2017, towards a fraudulent agreement with Paratus Telecom's Canocopy Pty Limited, first surfaced after it filed papers to that effect in the High Court, on 30 August this year.
Despite Telecom's former Managing Director Frans Ndoroma having retired in 2014, the agreement, dated 2016 - appears to bare his forged signature.
The other signatures on the agreement, are those of Canocopy owner Mark Barnard and Telecom Namibia's now suspended Chief Financial Officer, Offner.
Telecom and Canocopy are presently engaged in a legal wrangling over the disputed contract, with the parastatal arguing the contract's value exceeded Offner's authority.
Canocopy, on the other hand, is understood to have taken Telecom to court, for breach of contract after it stopped paying them in June last year.