Schindehütte must repay Telkom loan

Telkom claims it did not ratify the granting of a R6m loan to its suspended chief financial officer, Jacques Schindehütte, and that he must repay the money.

Jacques Schindehütte

Jacques Schindehütte

Suspended Telkom chief financial officer Jacques Schindehütte has a “fiduciary duty” to repay R6m he was loaned by the company so that he could buy shares.

The telecommunications operator says in a statement that the loan was granted in a manner that was “inconsistent with the provisions of the Companies Act, making the transaction null and void”.

Schindehütte was suspended last October after allegations of “personal misconduct” were levelled against him by a whistle-blower. Neither Telkom nor Schindehütte have disclosed the exact nature of the allegations, although the latter has consistently denied that there was any link between the suspension and the R6m loan, which was used to purchase shares on 30 September.

Schindehütte told TechCentral at the time that both the loan agreement and the subsequent purchase of R6m worth of Telkom shares had the approval of both Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza and CEO Sipho Maseko.

But now Telkom says that the board “cannot and did not ratify the granting of the loan”.

“Telkom therefore has an obligation to claim the loan back in order to rectify the situation,” it says in the statement.

“By virtue of his position as chief financial officer of Telkom, Schindehütte has oversight responsibility for compliance and corporate governance, including for the regulatory and/or administrative processes relating to the provision of loans to directors at Telkom,” it says.

“He was actively involved in the processing of this loan and personally oversaw the advancement of the payment of the loan amount to himself,” the statement continues.

“As a director of the company, and having now been advised that the loan was void, the chief financial officer has a fiduciary duty to repay the loan to the company. We are confident that Mr Schindehütte will act in the best interests of the company and repay the loan.”

Schindehütte could not immediately be reached on his mobile phone for comment, but according to a report on wire agency Bloomberg, he has agreed to repay the loan immediately.

“I’ve now been told that the company was unable to ratify the loan as they had indicated to the market and I’ve been called upon to repay the loan,” he is quoted as saying. “I will do that forthwith.”  — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media

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  • Aadil Lakhi

    Repay the loan? No problem. Bought the shares at R15 per share. It’s now trading at R33.50. Tidy profit with an interest free loan. Where do I get some?

  • Dave Baker

    Is Telkom in a close period for its Management yet?
    If so he cannot sell the shares to repay the loan

  • Gladiator

    Interesting that both the Chairman and GCEO had knowledge of the loan so it must have been with their approval. I wonder who gets the profit windfall in the increased shares value as the poor taxpayer always hoofs the bill for the EXCO mess ups ie MultiLinks, Telkom Media, Telkom International (Kenya) latest supposedly the deal struck by Sipho was probably not ratified. The appointment of Bain & co without any tender in conformance with legislation and so the list grows.

  • Andrew Fraser

    No problem to raise another loan against the equity of the shares that have doubled in price since he bought them. He’ s made a tidy 6 million or so profit since he’s had the shares.

  • Dave Baker

    I have heard the R15 number (and 100% profit) trotted out often. The story is big without exaggerating the number. He bought at R24.46 (rounded). Yesterday it closed at R33.29. So 36% higher (not 100%).
    Sure he could raise R5.96m easily to repay the loan

  • Guest

    Schindehütte – another corrupt official just like his SA president.

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