Businessman Sipho Pityana. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi.
Businessman Sipho Pityana. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Spat between Absa board and businessman Sipho Pityana continues as board removes him as its independent director

By Dieketseng Maleke Time of article published Nov 12, 2021

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The spat between the Absa board and prominent businessman Sipho Pityana continues as the bank on Friday has announced that it has removed Pityana as its lead independent director with immediate effect.

In a statement, the bank said the board had decided that Pityana will no longer hold the position as the lead independent director.

Pityana will remain as a board member.

“Shareholders are informed that the Absa Group and Absa Bank boards have resolved that Sipho M Pityana will cease to be a lead independent director of Absa Group and Absa Bank, chairperson of the Remuneration Committee (RemCo) and, as a consequence, member of the directors’ affairs committee (DAC), with immediate effect," the bank said.

Last month the Absa Group was involved in a spat with Pityana after he was not appointed as chair of the board of the bank. Absa instead appointed Sello Moloko as chairperson.

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.

At the time, Absa confirmed the group was mentioned in proceedings instituted by Pityana, where he seeks a declaratory order against the PA.

Absa said the board will appoint a new lead independent director and chairperson of the RemCo and advise shareholders in due course.


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