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da slams ceo's r1,5m 'pay hike'

By Anna Majavu | Sep 21, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

WHILE the recession rages on and the cost of living continues to shoot up, another public servant has been given a more than R1million pay hike.

Armscor chief executive Sipho Thomo last year got a whopping 89percent pay increase, bringing his total package to R3,27million, up from R1,7million the year before.

Thomo's R1,5million pay hike was revealed in the Armscor annual report tabled in Parliament on Friday. He was given a 19percent salary increase, pushing his annual salary up from R1,22million to R1,45million. On top of that, Thomo's yearly benefits, which include a performance bonus, were increased from R108624 to R1391395 a year.

The shock disclosure follows the news last week that Eskom chief executive Jacob Maroga received a 27percent increase, bringing his salary to almost R5million a year.

DA MP David Maynier slammed the increases, saying that Thomo was not performing and should not have been given a bonus.

"Why are we rewarding Sipho Thomo with higher salaries and bigger benefits payments when there is concern about the long-term viability of Armscor?" asked Maynier, pointing out that if the government had not given Armscor R479million last year it would have gone R441million into debt.

But Armscor's human resources director Francois Potgieter said Thomo was not given a R1,5million pay hike. Potgieter said Thomo had instead been paid two years' worth of performance bonuses at once because he hadn't been paid his bonus the year before.

Earlier this year Parliament was concerned that Thomo was on an ordinary permanent staff member's contract with Armscor, instead of having a chief executive's contract.

Potgieter said as part of concluding the contract Armscor had to pay Thomo a once-off amount as part of a "restraint of trade" agreement.

Thomo has previously been embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal at work. Sowetan reported last year that Armscor's former general manager of corporate affairs, Nthati Borotho, had accused Thomo of sexually abusing her at a company function after he allegedly claimed to be the father of her baby.

Borotho was placed on special leave for more than a year while Thomo was being investigated.

Though a committee appointed by Armscor recommended that Thomo be suspended, the board ordered another investigation - which eventually saw Thomo being sent for counselling.


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