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'It's an outrage!' Sipho Pityana hits back after he's fired from Absa boards

24 November 2021 7:11 PM
Tags:
Sipho Pityana
South African Reserve Bank
Sarb
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Absa
Absa group
sexual harassment allegations
Prudential Authority
Absa chair

'It's unfortunate and, indeed, unlawful.' Bruce Whitfield interviews business executive Sipho Pityana after he's axed by Absa.

The Absa Group and Absa Bank Boards have announced the removal of Sipho Pityana as director with immediate effect.

On Tuesday, Pityana was given the opportunity to address the Boards' allegations that he had been derelict in the performance of his functions as director.

It was found that the business executive had "pursued his own personal interests to the detriment of Absa and thereby created a material and sustained conflict between his interests and those of Absa."

Sipho Pityana sits down with EWN for an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on 20 January 2017. Picture: EWN.

Earlier in November, Pityana was fired as Absa's lead independent director and chairman of the remuneration committee. He remained an ordinary board member.

Pityana announced in October that he was taking the Reserve Bank to court after its banking authority blocked his nomination for Absa chairperson by using what he said was a false sexual harassment allegation against him

RELATED: 'Sarb's conduct is atrocious!' - Pityana on being blocked from Absa post

RELATED: Pityana: Reserve Bank blocked me from Absa top job over false harassment claims

Bruce Whitfield talks to Pityana on The Money Show.

I think that it's an outrage that a corporate citizen of Absa's standing would see fit to take the kind of action that they have, which for all practical purposes is about denying me my right to exercise my constitutional rights and legal rights in terms of the Banks Act.

Sipho Pityana, Businessman

Pityana says his action was clearly directed against the Reserve Bank and Absa's response is unfortunate "and, indeed, unlawful".

What governs these matters is the Companies Act, which sets out very clearly circumstances under which the Board may remove a director... Nothing of what has been advanced meets those requirements...

Sipho Pityana, Businessman

I'm sure ordinary South Africans would accept that the step of taking a prudential authority to court when it seems it has acted unlawfully cannot be said to be constituting neglect of a director's exercise of his responsibility to the company, or that a director may be said to be derelict of his duties as a result.

Sipho Pityana, Businessman

It must be in the interests of the bank that you do not have a regulator of the affairs of the bank that is capable of acting unlawfully!

Sipho Pityana, Businessman

Why not wait for the court to make a pronouncement! Pityana exclaims.

"Why are you embarking on systematic harassment... merely because I have taken a decision to ask the court to clarify that legal matter?"

There is an aspect of my challenge which is about the fact that the Prudential Authority has impugned my character by implying that I may be a person who's not fit and proper to be a chairman of a bank, and consequently a director.

Sipho Pityana, Businessman

Simply because he respects the work of Board members does not mean that they are incapable of being wrong, Pityana says.

I think that it is time to challenge the hypocrisy in corporate South Africa that suggest we are about the rule of law... and when there is an obvious breach... we battle!

Sipho Pityana, Businessman

My objection is not about who has been appointed instead. My objection is not about losing the position - it's about the fact that, in coming to its decision, the Reserve Bank has basically impugned my character... I've never been found guilty of sexual harassment anywhere!

Sipho Pityana, Businessman

Listen to Pityana's argument on The Money Show:




24 November 2021 7:11 PM
Tags:
Sipho Pityana
South African Reserve Bank
Sarb
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Absa
Absa group
sexual harassment allegations
Prudential Authority
Absa chair

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