ETL boss questioned over citizenship

ETL boss questioned over citizenship

Staff Reporter

MASERU

THE deputy chief executive of Econet Telecom Lesotho (ETL), Langa Nyati, was on Monday picked up by the police for questioning in connection with his citizenship.

Nyati, who joined ETL in March, was invited to the police station before being detained overnight over what the police suspect to be a fraudulent passport and birth certificate.

He was released on Tuesday and will be back at the police station today.

ETL corporate affairs manager, Mpine Tente, confirmed that Nyati was questioned but said she could not give further details “until police investigations are complete”.

Police spokesperson Clifford Molefe said he was not aware of the case.

Nyati was hired as a Mosotho on the government’s instructions that the company have a succession plan. The government which owns 30 percent of ETL has insisted that the company starts localising the position of the chief executive which has been held by foreigners since the merger between Econet Ezi~Cell and Telecom Lesotho in April 2008. Econet Wireless Global, a multinational company with Zimbabwean roots, owns 70 percent of ETL.

Nyati’s appointment was a reaction to that request. He was expected to eventually take over as local chief executive.

Nyati has a South Africa passport but is said to have indicated to ETL that he was born in Lesotho and was in the process of reclaiming his citizenship.

It is that process that the police are now investigating, according to several sources reluctant to be named.

The police want to understand how Nyati got his Lesotho birth certificate and passport. It is understood that the police are also looking to interview several officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs in connection with Nyati’s documents.

There were unconfirmed reports last night that two officials from the ministry were questioned over the matter.

The number of officials the police want to interview could be as much as 10, according to police sources.

Several weeks ago a local radio station discussed the same issue, questioning how Nyati got his documents.

The investigation seems to have started as soon as Nyati applied for his birth certificate. thepost understands that Nyati claims that he was born in Teele but the police are doubting the claim.

It is not known what charges the police will prefer against him neither is it clear if he will be charged at all. The police merely told him to come back today.

Nyati’s Linkedin profile reveals his impressive CV as a high flyer with an impeccable reputation. The profile shows that he started his career at Vodacom SA in 2001 as head of operations for the Pretoria area.

In August 2002 he joined Vodacom Lesotho as director of operations. After just over a year he returned to his previous position at Vodacom SA.

In November 2005 he joined Huawei Technologies as senior manager marketing, a position he held for just over a year. In 2007 he joined Ericsson as operations manager for managed services.

By March 2008 he was back at Vodacom SA as head of sales and marketing for Port Elizabeth area. He stayed there for three years before being appointed facilities leasing manager in April 2011.

He was headhunted by ETL from Ulwando Investments (Pty) Ltd, a communication solutions provider, where he had been managing partner since 2012.

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