Absa ‘frustrates’ Pityana out of PA battle

Absa ‘frustrates’ Pityana out of PA battle

Claims have emerged that the decision by the Absa Group to axe Sipho Pityana from key positions on the board was meant to intimidate him to drop the case against the Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority (PA).

City Press understands that Pityana is expected to not challenge the group’s decision pending the outcome of an ongoing court matter in which he is alleging that the PA blocked his chairmanship appointment at Absa.

Pityana could not be reached for comment yesterday.

However, a source with intimate details of the matter told City Press that the move by the group was meant to “frustrate and intimidate” him.

This followed the group’s announcement late on Friday that, together with the bank, it had resolved that Pityana would cease to be its lead independent director, chairperson of the remuneration committee and member of the director’s affairs committee with immediate effect.

“The boards will appoint a new lead independent director and chairman of the remuneration committee and advise shareholders in due course,” the group announced.

It declined to comment on specific questions yesterday afternoon.

“As a matter of general policy, the Absa Group does not comment on rumours and speculation. In terms of its general functioning, the decisions and actions of the Absa board are always informed by the best interests of Absa and its stakeholders, and the responsibilities and fiduciary duties of the directors of the board,” Absa Group roup said.

Pityana took the PA to court in October. He revealed in his affidavit filed on October 21 that Absa nominated him for the chairperson position, but the PA allegedly did not agree with this decision.

In in his affidavit, he cited former Absa chief executive Maria Ramos, who allegedly informed the Absa board that there were sexual harassment allegations made by a senior manager against him at AngloGold Ashanti, where he was previously chairperson.

Pityana resigned from AngloGold Ashanti at the end of last year, when the sexual harassment allegations surfaced.He said that Absa had nominated him while fully aware of the allegations.City Press understands that the PA indicated in court that it would oppose Pityana’s application, while the group also indicated its objection.Parties have until November 22 to file their papers.A source told City Press that Pityana was not going to take the fight lying down. The group’s decision to axe Pityana, the source said, was expected because this has become an “all-out war”.The source said that the PA decided that Pityana […]

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