According to an opinion piece in the City Press by Ignitive advertising agency founder Muzi Kuzwayo, Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko is criticised – and his success at Telkom frowned upon – because he is a black man.
If he was white, according to Kuzwayo, he would have been “hailed as the white knight that saved the natives – the classic storyline in South African boardrooms”.
Kuzwayo echoes these sentiments about Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza, whose “success” he argues hurts white people, owning to the fact that he used to be a taxi driver.
“Their jealous hearts are asking who the hell you are to succeed with your Bantu education when their white government gave them every crutch and prosthesis to succeed, yet they still came out second. You see, nothing hurts them more than losing to a black person, and Telkom’s success hurts them because it disproves the half-truths they’ve been peddling,” said Kuzwayo.
An example of the aforementioned success was the decision not to sell a stake in Telkom to Korean company KT Corporation in 2012.
“They said government was wrong by refusing the Koreans’ offer to buy shares in Telkom at R24 each. When Mabuza came in as chairman and appointed Sipho Maseko, another hard-worker, as the CEO, the turnaround began.”
Now Telkom is sitting at R60 per share, said Kuzwayo, yet nobody is celebrating Maseko, “instead they are finding faults with him”.
Kuzwayo also touched on the suspension of Telkom’s financial director Jacques Schindehütte, who “perhaps” cast Maseko as a “token black”. He said that the commentators has expected the white financial director to be the “star of the show”.
“For those of us who grew up during the days of “k****r-bashing”, Maseko is the “Bruce Lee of the boardroom”. Lee was the first nonwhite to kick white men’s backsides. Maseko freed us from the white blackmail that states this country will be nothing without white skills,” said Kuzwayo.
Telkom is currently in the process of retrenching a large chunk of its management workforce – which could affect over 2,600 staff members – as part of a cost-saving strategy. The company was heavily criticised by workers’ union Solidarity for the planned retrenchments.
In his personal capacity, Maseko has been accused of using cloned number plates on his car and racking up R30,000 in fines.
According to a new report in the Sunday Times, delays in the police inquiry into Maseko’s cloned number plates have stalled the filing of court papers against the Telkom CEO.
Mabena Motshoane – the man whose plates were allegedly cloned – was waiting for the police to gather all the facts before he proceeded with legal action.
The reason for the delays are unknown, with police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Khensani Magoai saying that the matter needed “further investigation”.
The public protector’s office has confirmed it is also looking into the matter after receiving reports that City of Joburg officials interfered in the initial investigation.
Maseko has said that he is willing to resolve the matter, within the confines of the law.