CORPORATE BOMBSHELL: Absa, AngloGold Ashanti and the Reserve Monetary institution rocked by disputed sexual harassment explain levelled against Sipho Pityana

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CORPORATE BOMBSHELL: Absa, AngloGold Ashanti and the Reserve Monetary institution rocked by disputed sexual harassment explain levelled against Sipho Pityana

CORPORATE BOMBSHELL: Absa, AngloGold Ashanti and the Reserve Monetary institution rocked by disputed sexual harassment explain levelled against Sipho Pityana

In an eight-page public assertion, Sipho Pityana claims that Ramos, who succeeded Pityana because the chair of AngloGold Ashanti, has feeble her affect with the banking regulatory division of the Reserve Monetary institution to forestall him from becoming Absa’s chair.

The person that Ramos allegedly influenced is head of banking regulation Kuben Naidoo, who in conserving with Pityana has “long-standing professional, social and political relationships” with Ramos and her household. The Reserve Monetary institution acknowledged final night it would arena the allegations in court. Ramos did no longer accurate now retort to requests for say.

Ramos did no longer in my plan retort final night, however the AngloGold’s board acknowledged in a assertion it “emphatically rejects the allegations …  which would possibly be baseless”. “The matter of Absa’s Chairmanship is one between Mr. Pityana and the Board of that firm.”

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

The identification of the complainant will not be any longer identified, however the allegations made by the complainant bear now been revealed, and whether, even on her model, they constitute sexual harassment is an start query of. Nonetheless a document compiled by an fair lawyer, Heidi Barns, chanced on what came about did constitute sexual harassment and chanced on Pityana at fault.

On the request of the Absa board, that finding has been challenged by every other lawyer, Peter Harris, who chanced on Barns’s finding “wrong”, despite the actual fact that it did no longer construct a resolution on whether sexual harassment took space.

The allegation made by the complainant, a senior executive of AngloGold Ashanti, is that in February 2019, Pityana took her to a restaurant on my own. After dinner, he gave her a enjoy serve to her lodge, place his hand on top of hers and suggested her he loved her. On the lodge, he provided to escort her to her room but she objected and he left. 

Pityana’s counter explain is that they weren’t on my own within the restaurant; he was as soon as attended by his safety ingredient as he was as soon as virtually consistently, and did no longer give her a enjoy to her lodge or anywhere else. Harris chanced on that Barns had no longer interviewed the safety personnel who might possibly presumably additionally bear corroborated Pityana’s model, and that this constituted a “arena matter flaw” within the finding. There were smartly-liked, recorded interactions between the safety personnel and the AngloGold head space of commercial on the evening in query of.

One other pertinent element of the allegations is that it was as soon as handiest reported in September 2020, a year and a half after the incident allegedly took space. Pityana draws a negative inference from the timing, saying, “I bear repeatedly denied these as baseless and counterfeit allegations, handiest intended to u.s. me from the jam of chairman of AngloGold Ashanti, in expose to block a PIC requested Independent Inquiry into the presumably unethical habits of AngloGold Ashanti’s used CEO and the board’s handling of the matter.”

There was as soon as additionally a debate going on at the time in regards to the relocation of AngloGold to London — one thing that the firm has no longer revealed except now. Pityana acknowledged he was as soon as perceived to be blockading the transfer, and that after factions developed on the board around the topic, and others, he left. Rapidly afterwards, he was as soon as appointed to the Absa board, satirically no longer long after Ramos had stood down as CEO.

For Absa, Pityana’s dispute complicates an already complicated arena following the departure of Ramos’s successor, Daniel Mminele in April final year. Mmimele had no feature in this dispute. 

Pityana’s revelations construct enjoy a corner on the continuing difficulties at AngloGold, which took extra than a year to hunt down a brand novel CEO. Pityana claims that the “force to exit SA is being pursued with renewed vigour ensuing within the facet-lining or exit of these notion-about no longer allotment of that future”.

Pityana says as a social justice activist of many a long time, he’s happy with the feature he played in advancing the cause for gender equality. “I’m affronted, wound and deeply embarrassed that I’ll possibly presumably additionally ever be accused of being a perpetrator of such violations.”

Nonetheless he acknowledged he believed that the Reserve Monetary institution’s Prudential Authority “has unlawfully objected to his nomination in that it circumvented procedures situation out in allotment 60 of the Banks Act 94 of 1990”.

Pityana acknowledged he was as soon as looking for a declaratory expose on the grounds that the Prudential Authority had, via an “casual direction of”, conducted deliberations about him that interested exterior parties with out giving Pityana the opportunity to retort.

In its response, the Reserve Monetary institution acknowledged: “Now we bear got acted in accordance with our mandate and can retort fully to the total issues raised via the judicial direction of as formal merely direction of has now commenced.”

“It’s the responsibility of the regulated entity to nominate participants of the board and is within the spoil to blame for the appointment of directors of the board as effectively as executive officers. The Prudential Authority (PA) has the mandate to assess the effectively being and propriety of proposed appointments of directors and executive officers, and has the accurate and responsibility to object to an appointment consistent with competence or integrity of the proposed candidate.”

The AngloGold Board acknowledged it had “complete confidence in AngloGold Ashanti’s processes and choices” in terms of the events raised by Pityana, “which would possibly be aligned with the absolute top standards of confidentiality, integrity and just appropriate governance”. 

Basically based on allegations of sexual harassment against Pityana, “AngloGold’s board initiated an fair investigation, led by a senior recommend. The investigation was as soon as fair, fine and thorough, and we’re assured in its conclusions. Per the Company’s values and the must repeatedly safeguard the rights of AngloGold Ashanti employees, and the rights of the sufferer in verbalize, we are able to no longer say additional.” BM/DM

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