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SA's former deputy finance minister appointed to MTN Board

SA's former deputy finance minister appointed to MTN Board

Former Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas has been appointed as an independent non-executive director on MTN's board.

The telecommunications company confirmed Jonas' appointment, effective from 1 June 2018, along with that of Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala who will serve in a similar capacity.

Phuthuma Nhleko, Chairman of MTN Group said, "I wish to extend a warm welcome to Swazi and Mcebisi. We are all excited to have them on board. As we continue to steer our business into a new trajectory of execution excellence, I believe their arrival will further enrich the diversity and experience of the Board."

Tshabalala is currently a Non-Executive Director of Tiger Brands Limited and South African Airways, while Jonas is one of four Presidential Investment Envoys, appointed by South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa to attract investors to South Africa.

In an announcement of the Presidential Investment Envoys in April, President Ramaphosa said they would be tasked with encouraging investment into South Africa's economy.

"They (the envoys) will be travelling to major financial centres in Asia, Middle East, Europe and the Americas to meet with potential investors. A major part of their responsibility will be to seek out investors in other parts of Africa, from Nairobi to Lagos and from Dakar to Cairo."

MTN and Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa's relationship with MTN has been the subject of criticism by some members of the opposition in South Africa because he served as chairman of the company's board between 2001 and 2013.

In early February Julius Malema, leader of opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) slated President Ramaphosa for his selection of former MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa as one of the new board members at South Africa's power utility Eskom.

"The recent board of Eskom has people who should be closely monitored... Sifiso Dabengwa's problem is because of the proximity to Ramaphosa and it is not correct that the first appointments [since Ramaphosa became ANC president], should be so close to him," said Malema at the time.

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