- PPC has released a report that alleges its former chief financial officer leaked sensitive information to journalists.
- Tryphosa Ramano was appointed to Eskom’s board last month, and the Department of Public Enterprises says it is looking into the report.
- Law firm ENSafrica found the report “flawed”.
- For more financial news, go to the News24 Business front page.
The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) says it will “establish the facts” after cement maker PPC released a report detailing serious allegations against a newly appointed Eskom director.
The report alleged that Tryphosa Ramano discussed sensitive information with journalists in contravention of the JSE Listing Requirements and the Takeover Regulation Panel Regulations.
Ramano was appointed to the Eskom board last month. She is also a director of the SA Reserve Bank.
PPC commissioned the report in 2019 amid allegations of irregularity, intimidation and victimisation against Ramano, who was the cement group’s chief financial officer from 2011 to 2019, before leaving PPC after agreeing to “separate”.
The 2019 report, by consultancy Exactech, alleged that Ramano, with media consultant Rich Mkhondo, met with reporters in 2017 to discuss details of proposed takeover bids of PPC by local cement group AfriSam, backed by Canada’s Fairfax, and Nigeria’s Dangote. None of the proposed deals came to fruition.
Ramano referred News24 to findings by the law firm ENS about the Exactech report.
PPC asked ENSafrica for legal advice on Exactech’s forensic report, and in a letter dated 28 September, ENSafrica said it found that the report was “flawed”.
It said that Exactech only analysed Ramano’s hard drive, and no other employees, and that its conclusion “is not supported by the available evidence”.
“Exactech concluded that Tryphosa and her public relations consultant (Rich Mkhondo) disclosed market-sensitive information to third parties. Exactech appears to rely on a cryptic WhatsApp discussion between Siobhan [McCarthy, former PPC group manager of corporate affairs] and Rich (which was provided by Siobhan as evidence). It is entirely possible that information was gathered from multiple sources other than Tryphosa and Rich.”
For his part, Mkhondo dismissed the Exactech report.
“The forensic report is ridiculously flawed. It lacks substance, details and evidence of information leaked. Whoever says we leaked information should provide proof and evidence. As part of media relations Tryphosa and I met journalists to contextualise the termination of her non-executive directorship at SAA. We never discussed PPC.”
Ramano, previously South African Airways’ chief financial officer, was also a former director of the airline.
In response to a query from News24, a DPE spokesperson said the department “has become aware of several reports as a consequence of the publication of Exactech report”.
“The Department will establish the facts in this matter and act accordingly.”
Business Day reports that PPC released the Exactech report this week after the Labour Appeals Court refused its application to appeal against a previous ruling that the report must be handed to McCarthy. McCarthy was a whistleblower about Ramano’s consultations with journalists, and alleges that this contributed to her dismissal in 2018, the newspaper reported.
Discussion about this post