Adapt IT’s under-fire chief executive Sbu Shabalala yesterday hit back at claims that he hired armed thugs to assault the partner of his estranged wife. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency(ANA)
Adapt IT’s under-fire chief executive Sbu Shabalala yesterday hit back at claims that he hired armed thugs to assault the partner of his estranged wife. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency(ANA)

Adapt IT’s CEO begins fight back

By Sandile Mchunu Time of article published May 12, 2021

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DURBAN - ADAPT IT’s under-fire chief executive Sbu Shabalala yesterday hit back at claims that he hired armed thugs to assault the partner of his estranged wife.

The negative publicity hurt the group’s share price as it fell by more than 13 percent on Monday when the allegations surfaced and Shabalala agreed to go on leave for a period of three months.

Yesterday, the share price closed at R6.45 on the JSE.

Adapt IT has since appointed chief commercial officer Tiffany Dunsdon in an acting capacity.

“The allegations against me are without merit. The best way to deal with them is through the judicial system. This is not only to clear my name of wrongdoing but also reveal those who are using my proximity to the situation to serve their own ends. This campaign is cold-hearted and must be condemned,” Shabalala said in a letter addressed to the media.

Shabalala’s leave comes at a time when Adapt IT is facing a takeover bid from another JSE-listed company, Huge Group, and Canadian company Volaris Group.

The Volaris Group offer of 650 cents a share for the entire issued share capital of Adapt IT has the support of 44 percent of shareholders that hold the company’s shares.

However, the group announced on Monday the extension of its fulfilment date for its acquisition by the Volaris Group to May 14.

This comes after the fulfilment date, which was first set for April 30, was extended to May 7 and further extended to May 14.

Shabalala admitted a day later after the announcement of the extension date that the allegations against him had taken a toll on his well-being.

“My instinct is to soldier on. However, those closest to me, who care for me, have advised that I take time out for myself and family care. I listened. Hence my decision to take leave. My trust in the competence and excellence of our management team made the decision somewhat easier,” he said.

The group also bolstered its executive team by appointing Tony Vicente as an executive director.

“Vicente was appointed as chief strategy officer in September 2018 and will continue in this role with strong operational oversight,” the group said.

It added that the management continues its focus on business operations.

Shabalala has been with the group for more than 15 years and he said taking time to regroup was an essential part of good leadership and there is never a perfect time.

“I hope this clarifies my position as I will not be engaging these issues until I have resolved the dispute,” he said.

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