People queue at the Parkview Post Office in Johannesburg. Picture: THE TIMES
People queue at the Parkview Post Office in Johannesburg. Picture: THE TIMES

Five new people have been appointed to the SA Post Office board, amid a battle between the board and shareholder minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams over appointments and her alleged interference in operations.

Sapo — which suffered more than R1bn in losses in the past financial year, extending its money-losing streak to 13 years — is among several state-owned companies that rely on government bailouts to stay afloat.

On Thursday, the cabinet said it had endorsed the appointment of new members Emmanuel Lekgau, Nolitha Pieters, Sandile Phillip, Sipho Majombozi and Yvette Lillian Mavivi Myakayaka-Manzini.

Neither the Post Office nor the department of telecommunications and postal services were able to provide the CVs of the new members, when asked by Business Day Thursday.

The appointments come just less than a week after two board members, Sontaga Mantlhakga and Albert Ramoadi, who represent the Communications Workers Union (CWU), resigned.

They stepped down after permission to serve on the board had been withdrawn by their employer, telecom operator Telkom, which is still partially state owned.

Telkom said the decision was taken because the Post Office was an active customer of company, and therefore the presence of employees on the board would amount to a “conflict of interest, whether factual, potential or perceived”.

Two sources with knowledge of the goings on at the Sapo board had previously told Business Day that there were allegations that the forced resignations were part of a ploy by Ndabeni-Abrahams to ensure there were people on the board who would accede to her demands.

The minister has been accused of interfering in the Post Office’s operations and fighting against the board’s turnaround strategy.

Ndabeni-Abrahams has not responded to requests for comment about the allegations.

The minister is facing a court challenge by the former Post Office board chair Colleen Makhubele, who Ndabeni-Abrahams demoted earlier in August.

In court papers, Makhubele accused Ndabeni-Abrahams of abusing her powers. Makhubele said she believed she was being “victimised” for not “supporting the minister’s agendas”.

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