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

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

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

In an eight-online page public train, Sipho Pityana claims that Ramos, who succeeded Pityana as the chair of AngloGold Ashanti, has ragged her have an effect on with the banking regulatory division of the Reserve Bank to prevent him from turning into Absa’s chair.

The person that Ramos allegedly influenced is head of banking regulation Kuben Naidoo, who in step with Pityana has “long-standing official, social and political relationships” with Ramos and her family. The Reserve Bank acknowledged last evening it will per chance well well enlighten the allegations in court. Ramos did now now not straight acknowledge to requests for train.

Ramos did now now not personally acknowledge last evening, nevertheless the AngloGold’s board acknowledged in a train it “emphatically rejects the allegations …  that are baseless”. “The topic of Absa’s Chairmanship is one between Mr. Pityana and the Board of that company.”

The sequence of occasions is powerful and the conditions of the alleged sexual harassment are in dispute. Pityana flatly denies any sexual harassment took location, and blames the allegation, no decrease than partly, on a fractious boardroom fight that was as soon as taking location at the time at AngloGold Ashanti.

The identification of the complainant is now now not identified, nevertheless the allegations made by the complainant enjoy now been published, and whether, even on her version, they describe sexual harassment is an open quiz. But a characterize compiled by an honest lawyer commissioned by AngloGold Ashanti, Heidi Barns, learned what took location did describe sexual harassment and learned Pityana at fault.

At the question of the Absa board, that finding has been challenged by every other lawyer, Peter Harris, who learned Barns’s finding “outrageous”, even supposing it did now now not map a dedication on whether sexual harassment took location.

The allegation made by the complainant, a senior govt of AngloGold Ashanti, is that in February 2019, Pityana took her to a restaurant by myself. After dinner, he gave her a choose encourage to her hotel, build his hand on high of hers and knowledgeable her he loved her. At the hotel, he offered to escort her to her room nevertheless she objected and he left. 

Pityana’s counter narrate is that they weren’t by myself in the restaurant; he was as soon as attended by his safety detail as he was as soon as practically continuously, and did now now not give her a choose to her hotel or any place else. Harris learned that Barns had now now not interviewed the protection personnel who may well well even enjoy corroborated Pityana’s version, and that this constituted a “discipline material flaw” in the finding. There had been in vogue, recorded interactions between the protection personnel and the AngloGold head location of work on the evening in quiz.

One other pertinent facet of the allegations is that it was as soon as greatest reported in September 2020, a 365 days and a half after the incident allegedly took location. Pityana attracts a opposed inference from the timing, announcing, “I in actuality enjoy always denied these as baseless and wrong allegations, greatest intended to united states me from the arena of chairman of AngloGold Ashanti, in present to block a PIC requested Self reliant Inquiry into the per chance unethical conduct of AngloGold Ashanti’s aged CEO and the board’s handling of the topic.”

There was as soon as moreover a debate occurring at the time in regards to the relocation of AngloGold to London — something that the corporate has now now not published till now. Pityana acknowledged he was as soon as perceived to be blocking off the scurry, and that after factions developed on the board around the problem, and others, he left. Shortly afterwards, he was as soon as appointed to the Absa board, satirically now now not long after Ramos had stood down as CEO.

For Absa, Pityana’s dispute complicates an already powerful enlighten following the departure of Ramos’s successor, Daniel Mminele in April last 365 days. Mmimele had no goal in this dispute. 

Pityana’s revelations invent choose a corner on the continuing difficulties at AngloGold, which took extra than a 365 days to fetch a novel CEO. Pityana claims that the “power to exit SA is being pursued with renewed vigour ensuing in the facet-lining or exit of these thought of as now now not piece of that future”.

Pityana says as a social justice activist of many decades, he is contented with the goal he performed in advancing the clarification for gender equality. “I’m affronted, afflict and deeply embarrassed that I will even ever be accused of being a perpetrator of such violations.”

But he acknowledged he believed that the Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority “has unlawfully objected to his nomination in that it circumvented procedures arena out in piece 60 of the Banks Act 94 of 1990”.

Pityana acknowledged he was as soon as seeking a declaratory present on the grounds that the Prudential Authority had, thru an “informal job”, conducted deliberations about him that eager external occasions without giving Pityana the chance to acknowledge.

In its response, the Reserve Bank acknowledged: “We now enjoy acted in step with our mandate and can even acknowledge fully to the total matters raised thru the judicial job as formal appropriate job has now commenced.”

“It is far the responsibility of the regulated entity to nominate people of the board and is in the rupture to blame for the appointment of directors of the board as successfully as govt officers. The Prudential Authority (PA) has the mandate to evaluate the successfully being and propriety of proposed appointments of directors and govt officers, and has the sharp and responsibility to object to an appointment basically based on competence or integrity of the proposed candidate.”

The AngloGold Board acknowledged it had “total confidence in AngloGold Ashanti’s processes and decisions” in relation to the occasions raised by Pityana, “that are aligned with the absolute top standards of confidentiality, integrity and good governance”. 

In accordance with allegations of sexual harassment in opposition to Pityana, “AngloGold’s board initiated an honest investigation, led by a senior advocate. The investigation was as soon as honest, sharp and thorough, and we are assured in its conclusions. In step with the Firm’s values and the necessity to always safeguard the rights of AngloGold Ashanti workers, and the rights of the sufferer namely, we is now now not going to train further.” BM/DM

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