Ramachandran Ottapathu.

JOHANNESBURG  - The war of words between Botswana supermarket chain Choppies and its suspended CEO has continued, with Ramachandran Ottapathu accusing the company of failing to provide facts about the charges against him despite numerous requests from his legal representatives.

Ottapathu said he was going to challenge his suspension in court "at the soonest opportunity – as I do not believe it is justified or that it was done in a manner which was valid or proper".

He issued his statement on Monday, hours after Choppies' board of directors said it was disappointed by "unfortunate and intemperate comments" attributed to or made by him.

"I was suspended without notice and without a hearing," Ottapathu said, reiterating his denial of any wrongdoing.

"This is simple character assassination which does not give me a chance to defend myself," he said in response to Monday's statement from the Choppies board, which said his suspension was a result of an unspecified "aggregation of activities and conduct".

The board also said Ottapathu had since made unauthorised disclosures of confidential information which may form the basis of disciplinary proceedings against him.

Choppies, which also has stores in Zimbabwe and South Africa and has primary and secondary listings on the Botswana and Johannesburg stock exchanges respectively, has not given specific details of the conduct which led to Ottapathu's suspension. The move however came amid legal and forensic investigations at the company.

"I have said repeatedly that I have not been involved in material wrongdoing or that I benefited financially from any of the transactions which have now been under investigation since our shares were suspended almost a year ago," Ottapathu said on Monday.

- African News Agency (ANA)