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Telecom suspends three senior executives over ‘fake contract’

10 October 2018 Author  
Telecom Namibia announced Wednesday that it had placed three senior executives on a “precautionary” suspension pending an investigation into allegations of a fake N$12 million Canocopy contract.
The three suspended executives are the Chief Financial Officer, Robert Offner; Head: Internal Audit & Risk Management, Dr Ben Van der Merwe and Head: Corporate Governance, Legal Services & Regulatory Affairs, Jinah Buys.
Offner was suspended on 26 September, while Dr Van der Merwe and Buys were both suspended on 9 October.
Acting Chief Executive Officer, Armando Perny said in a statement that the suspensions were done with the knowledge and full approval of the shareholder.
The Namibian reported in September that Telecom Namibia made 16 monthly payments towards a N$12 million contract that turned out to be fake.
The contract, between Telecom Namibia and Canocopy Pty Limited (owned by Paratus Telecom), was signed in 2013.
Canocopy, according to the agreement, would offer Telecom Namibia printing facilities for 36 months.
Papers filed in the High Court on 30 August show that Telecom Namibia paid Canocopy Pty around N$4,8 million (N$299 000 per month) from March 2016 to June 2017.
The daily said documents show that the contract was renewed on 9 March 2016 for 16 more months, before Telecom Namibia realised last year that it was fraudulent.
The decision was based on a 2016 Telecom resolution that bore a forged signature of former managing director Frans Ndoroma, who retired in 2014.
The fake agreement, which The Namibian claimed to have seen, has the signatures of former Canocopy owner Mark Barnard and Offner.

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