ABSA bank on Tuesday announced that Sello Moloko was appointed as its new chairperson, amid damning allegations made by business executive Sipho Pityana.
In a statement on Tuesday, the bank said: “After the completion of this process, the Absa Boards resolved to nominate Mr Sello Moloko for the position and submitted his nomination as Independent non-executive director and Chair to the Prudential Authority (PA) for approval.
The Prudential Authority approved Moloko’s nomination and Absa has made the appropriate announcements in this regard.”
It comes after Pityana served legal papers to the South African Reserve Bank Prudential Authority citing that the authority blocked him from becoming chair of Absa bank by conducting an informal process and consulted with third parties, including former Absa bank CEO Maria Ramos, about whether he was “fit and proper” for the role.
Pityana said Ramos used an allegation of sexual harassment against him which dates back to 2020 while he was chairperson of AngloGold Ashanti.
Pityana denied the sexual harassment allegation against him.
Pityana said the PA did not afford him an opportunity to defend himself.
In response, Sarb said it was planning to challenge the allegations made by Pityana in court against its Prudential Authority (PA), which regulates the banks.
In a statement, the Reserve bank said it acted according to its mandate and will respond fully to all matters raised through the judicial process as the formal legal process has now commenced.
It comes after Sarb said it was the responsibility of the regulated entity to nominate members of the board and is ultimately responsible for the appointment of directors of the board as well as executive officers.
“The Prudential Authority (PA) has the mandate to assess the fitness and propriety of proposed appointments of directors and executive officers, and has the right and responsibility to object to an appointment based on competence or integrity of the proposed candidate,” the authority said.
“As a matter of policy we do not discuss matters related to any regulated entity in public, and the confidentiality of the entity and relevant individuals are respected in accordance with confidentiality requirements,” it added.
In June, Wendy Lucas-Bull announced that she would retire as the chairperson of the Absa board in 2022, after being in that role for nine years.
Lucas-Bull is expected to release a statement later on Tuesday.