CORPORATE BOMBSHELL: Absa, AngloGold Ashanti and the Reserve Bank rocked by disputed sexual harassment deliver levelled in opposition to Sipho Pityana

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CORPORATE BOMBSHELL: Absa, AngloGold Ashanti and the Reserve Bank rocked by disputed sexual harassment deliver levelled in opposition to Sipho Pityana

CORPORATE BOMBSHELL: Absa, AngloGold Ashanti and the Reserve Bank rocked by disputed sexual harassment deliver levelled in opposition to Sipho Pityana

In an eight-page public observation, Sipho Pityana claims that Ramos, who succeeded Pityana as the chair of AngloGold Ashanti, has weak her affect with the banking regulatory division of the Reserve Bank to forestall him from turning into Absa’s chair.

The person that Ramos allegedly influenced is head of banking legislation Kuben Naidoo, who in step with Pityana has “prolonged-standing legit, social and political relationships” with Ramos and her family. The Reserve Bank said final night it would trouble the allegations in courtroom. Ramos did no longer at once reply to requests for comment.

Ramos did no longer personally reply final night, but the AngloGold’s board said in a observation it “emphatically rejects the allegations …  which are baseless”. “The topic of Absa’s Chairmanship is one between Mr. Pityana and the Board of that company.”

The sequence of events is advanced and the circumstances of the alleged sexual harassment are in dispute. Pityana flatly denies any sexual harassment took situation, and blames the allegation, as a minimal partly, on a fractious boardroom battle that used to be taking situation at the time at AngloGold Ashanti.

The identity of the complainant will not be any longer known, but the allegations made by the complainant own now been revealed, and whether, even on her version, they instruct sexual harassment is an originate demand. However a file compiled by an self sustaining licensed legit, Heidi Barns, stumbled on what took situation did instruct sexual harassment and stumbled on Pityana at fault.

On the seek files from of the Absa board, that finding has been challenged by one other licensed legit, Peter Harris, who stumbled on Barns’s finding “unsuitable”, though it did no longer keep a decision on whether sexual harassment took situation.

The allegation made by the complainant, a senior government of AngloGold Ashanti, is that in February 2019, Pityana took her to a restaurant alone. After dinner, he gave her a do away with support to her hotel, set apart his hand on high of hers and told her he preferred her. On the hotel, he offered to escort her to her room but she objected and he left. 

Pityana’s counter deliver is that they were no longer alone in the restaurant; he used to be attended by his security detail as he used to be almost constantly, and did no longer give her a do away with to her hotel or wherever else. Harris stumbled on that Barns had no longer interviewed the security personnel who might perhaps perhaps well own corroborated Pityana’s version, and that this constituted a “cloth flaw” in the finding. There had been smartly-liked, recorded interactions between the security personnel and the AngloGold head office on the night in demand.

But every other pertinent component of the allegations is that it used to be simplest reported in September 2020, a yr and a half after the incident allegedly took situation. Pityana draws a detrimental inference from the timing, announcing, “I even own constantly denied these as baseless and false allegations, simplest meant to u.s.a.a. me from the situation of chairman of AngloGold Ashanti, in relate to block a PIC requested Autonomous Inquiry into the presumably unethical habits of AngloGold Ashanti’s ancient CEO and the board’s coping with of the topic.”

There used to be additionally a debate going on at the time about the relocation of AngloGold to London — something that the corporate has no longer revealed till now. Pityana said he used to be perceived to be blocking off the circulate, and that after factions developed on the board all around the difficulty, and others, he left. Quickly afterwards, he used to be appointed to the Absa board, paradoxically no longer prolonged after Ramos had stood down as CEO.

For Absa, Pityana’s dispute complicates an already advanced notify following the departure of Ramos’s successor, Daniel Mminele in April final yr. Mmimele had no role on this dispute. 

Pityana’s revelations attain do away with a corner on the ongoing difficulties at AngloGold, which took bigger than a yr to search out a current CEO. Pityana claims that the “pressure to exit SA is being pursued with renewed vigour ensuing in the aspect-lining or exit of those regarded as no longer half of that future”.

Pityana says as a social justice activist of many a protracted time, he is cheerful with the role he performed in advancing the clarification for gender equality. “I’m affronted, injure and deeply embarrassed that I might perhaps perhaps well perhaps ever be accused of being a perpetrator of such violations.”

However he said he believed that the Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority “has unlawfully objected to his nomination in that it circumvented procedures plan out partly 60 of the Banks Act 94 of 1990”.

Pityana said he used to be looking out for a declaratory relate on the grounds that the Prudential Authority had, through an “informal path of”, conducted deliberations about him that concerned external events with out giving Pityana the different to answer.

In its response, the Reserve Bank said: “We now own acted in step with our mandate and can reply entirely to all of the issues raised through the judicial path of as formal upright path of has now commenced.”

“It is the accountability of the regulated entity to nominate contributors of the board and is sooner or later to blame for the appointment of administrators of the board moreover government officers. The Prudential Authority (PA) has the mandate to evaluate the health and propriety of proposed appointments of administrators and government officers, and has the smartly suited and accountability to object to an appointment in step with competence or integrity of the proposed candidate.”

The AngloGold Board said it had “entire self assurance in AngloGold Ashanti’s processes and selections” relating to the events raised by Pityana, “which are aligned with the best standards of confidentiality, integrity and upright governance”. 

In step with allegations of sexual harassment in opposition to Pityana, “AngloGold’s board initiated an self sustaining investigation, led by a senior advocate. The investigation used to be self sustaining, comely and thorough, and we are confident in its conclusions. In step with the Firm’s values and the must constantly safeguard the rights of AngloGold Ashanti employees, and the rights of the sufferer in particular, we are in a position to’t comment extra.” BM/DM



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