Three Altron Nexus executives will face disciplinary hearings following an investigation into potential internal irregularities, Altron CEO Mteto Nyati has revealed.
Nyati was speaking to MyBroadband at the FTTx Council Conference in Johannesburg.
Altron placed the three people, identified only as “senior executives”, on precautionary suspension at the beginning of September.
“We suspended them to create the room for the investigation to be completed,” Nyati told MyBroadband.
The investigation was prompted by a tip-off from a whistle-blower. Altron said it immediately initiated an investigation into the matter when it received the tip in June.
Nyati said they are looking into two areas where Altron’s company policy was violated: the vetting of subcontractors and early profit recognition.
He emphasised that the charges brought against the Altron Nexus executives are not criminal, but related to internal policy.
The “possible deviation from procurement processes” which involves the vetting of subcontractors involves an estimated R23 million.
An example of early profit recognition, Nyati explained, could be where a customer has not yet fully signed off on something, but it is recognised on the books as profit regardless. The alleged incident involves around R20 million in the 2018 financial year.
Nyati said that they aim to complete the disciplinary process within the next month.
Some of the executives have requested time to prepare and, to ensure the process is fair, Nyati said that they have given them the time they need.
He also explained that one of the executives is still abroad. The details of the disciplinary process were discussed with the other two while they wait for the third to return.
“We will set down with [the person] when they return to the country,” Nyati said.
Altron has appointed an independent chair for each of the disciplinary hearings — three in total — from outside the company.
In his presentation at the conference, Nyati said that the fact that employees reported such matters for internal investigation is a testament to Altron’s success in fostering a culture where employees hold themselves and their leaders to the highest ethical standards.
“Obviously this is not nice for us to talk about [the suspensions], but we are going to talk about it,” Nyati said.