Johannesburg – Sipho Pityana, who was dismissed from Absa’s board at the end of November, has launched a legal challenge against the bank seeking his reinstatement as well as compensation.
This follows his removal from the Absa board on November 24, claiming he had neglected or been derelict in his duties after bringing a court action against the South African Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority (PA).
Pityana denied this saying, “There is no basis at all for the ABSA Board’s purported findings of neglect or direction of duty. On the contrary, it is clear from the events leading up to my removal… that I have been victimised for legitimately exercising my rights. My removal was transparently directed at punishing me specifically for my attempts to do so”.
The commotion between Absa and Pityana erupted when he made the announcement in October that he was suing the banking regulator for allegedly hindering him from being considered for the role of Absa chair.
Pityana was the ideal candidate to take over from current Absa chair, Wendy Lucas-Bull, who retires early next year.
However, sexual harassment allegations arose while he was chair at AngloGold Ashanti (AGA).
Pityana has denied the allegations and claims the investigation was improperly conducted and failed to consider evidence from his bodyguards, who would corroborate his version of events.
“I reiterate that I was never found guilty of sexual harassment as a result of an adjudicative process. I maintain my denial of these allegations against me”, he said.
Furthermore, Pityana has affirmed that he has no issue with ABSA, “It is apparently the ABSA Board’s view that I have a quarrel with ABSA. I have clarified on numerous occasions that I have no quarrel with ABSA and that this view is mistaken”.
He further stated that his court challenge does not entail that he cannot be in a “harmonious relationship” with his directors and has urged the board “to act against the resolution”
“My wish is that this matter can be resolved without litigation, however, in case this is not possible, I obviously reserve my rights to review the decision in terms of section 71 (5) of the company’s act,” he concluded.
Also read: Absa boots Sipho Pityana out of its board
Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here.