Technology group EOH said on Tuesday an investigation by ENS had found evidence of serious governance failings and wrongdoing at the company, including unsubstantiated payments, tender irregularities and other unethical business dealings primarily limited to public sector business run from its head office as well as EOH Mthombo and a limited number of now-former employees.
“The employment relationship with EOH has been terminated with individuals who have been directly implicated in the identified wrongdoing,” it said in a statement, adding that it had reported the concerns and the details of the parties implicated to the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation, known as the Hawks.
“EOH is committed to ensuring that all perpetrators of wrongdoing are brought to justice. EOH has instructed ENS to initiate criminal charges and lodge civil claims to recover losses, as appropriate,” EOH said.
EOH was thrust into a corporate scandal in 2016 after allegations of compliance and governance irregularities emerged, involving various government departments such as defence, water and sanitation, as well as the South African Police Service and eThekwini municipality, among others.
This prompted the company to launch an internal investigation into public sector contracts. The scandal has claimed the scalp of EOH founder chairperson and former CEO Asher Bohbot, who stepped down from the board in February.
On Tuesday EOH said its board would act decisively in respect of any further wrongdoing identified during the ongoing investigation.
It said it was documenting and developing a comprehensive remediation plan, with a number of measures having already been implemented while others would follow in due course.
“Extensive work has already been conducted to revise the corporate structure, implement robust risk management and mitigation initiatives, appoint new leadership and increase transparency, accountability, and reporting,” it said.
The recent appointments of a new board chairperson and three independent, non-executive directors were an important milestone for the group to enhance and complement leadership capability and governance oversight.
It said audit firm PwC assisted with setting up an internal audit function while ENS had helped implement an anti-bribery programme based upon the International Standard for Anti Bribery Management Systems.
Meanwhile, EOH announced late on Monday that non-executive director Pumeza Bam had resigned from the EOH Holdings board and various other EOH subsidiary boards and trusts effective July 12, while the executive director and CEO of EOH subsidiary Nextec, Zunaid Mayet, had also stepped down from the same date.
To ensure a smooth transition, Mayet would assist with the handover of Nextec by October 31 and thereafter intended to embark on a new entrepreneurial venture.
Executive director and CEO of its ICT business Rob Godlonton had also resigned from his role and various EOH subsidiary boards from July 12, the company added.
Group CEO Stephen van Coller and group financial director Megan Pydigadu would assume a caretaking leadership role for the ICT and Nextec business units on an interim basis, Monday’s statement said.
– African News Agency