African Markets

Absa dismisses Sipho Pityana

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Absa fired Sipho Pityana as a director after he failed to persuade the board that his actions were not detrimental to the bank.

Pityana was summoned to the board on Tuesday to address “allegations that he had neglected or been derelict in the performance of his functions as a director of the boards and had failed to conduct himself in the interests of Absa.”

However, following his presentation, the directors concluded that Pityana pursued his own personal interests to the detriment of Absa, creating a “material and sustained conflict between his interests and those of Absa.”

“While the boards respect Mr Pityana’s individual right to administrative fairness, unfortunately in this matter, the boards concluded that the pursuit of his personal interest at the cost of the group’s interest created a sustained and irresoluble conflict. Absa has a duty to its stakeholders to put the group’s interest before individual interests.”

Pityana was fired earlier this month as Absa’s lead independent director and chairman of the remuneration committee. Pityana is suing the Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority (PA) for obstructing his appointment as Absa chair.

Pityana resigned from AngloGold Ashanti in December 2020, without explaining why. However, after taking the PA to court in October, he revealed that he had left the miner amid sexual harassment allegations, which he denied.

He claims that the PA prevented him from being appointed chairperson of Absa. In an affidavit, PA CEO and deputy Reserve Bank governor Kuben Naidoo stated that, while Pityana claimed that the authority objected to his nomination as chair of Absa’s board, no written notice of his nomination was ever submitted by the bank to the PA. Absa has been named as a respondent in the case by Pityana.

Story by : Norvisi Mawunyegah