CAPE TOWN – A few months ago Magda Wierzycka came out guns blazing against Sagarmatha Technologies, a black-owned multi-sided platform company which was due to list on the JSE. Her rant was riddled with inaccuracies.
She completely misread the pre-listing statement, she cast aspersions on international investors, she did not understand the valuation of unicorns and she completely undermined the audit committee of the company.
As the deputy chairperson of Sagarmatha Technologies, I commented on her highly defamatory statements against the company, her grossly ill-informed understanding of the business and her downright utter lack of understanding of the business model and, of course, her skewed math.
And now she is at it again, and this time against AYO Technology Solutions Limited, another black-owned ICT company, on which I serve as an independent non-executive board member. And, she’s using the same formula, skewed math and all.
Her latest diatribe, not surprisingly hosted by Tiso Blackstar via BDlive, is riddled with inaccuracies which seem to have become her trademark – wrong facts, a poor understanding of the business model, anti-black business sentiment, disillusionment with the JSE (perhaps because they rejected her attempt at listing one of her companies) and her onslaught on those who dared to invest in the company. All of this, of course, underscored by her defamation of the company, its directors, executives and employees.
AYO has been in existence for more than 20 years, has significant businesses across the ICT spectrum. It is profitable and the company employs more than 200 highly skilled ICT people. On its own merits and against strenuous competition, AYO secured a large-scale ICT contract with Sasol.
It is no secret that AYO has a significant shareholder in the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).
In line with the PIC’s environmental, social and governance requirements, AYO recently restructured its board by co-opting a few independent non-executive directors. In addition, AYO directors who were associated with AEEI, a significant shareholder, as well as other companies within the Sekunjalo Group, were also asked to step down, in support of the plan to strengthen corporate governance.
No one “bailed or jumped ship” as Magda would like to believe. There was nothing sinister or underhanded about this; in fact, we are pretty proud of our commitment to conform to solid ethical and good governance requirements.
But according to Magda, the changes on the board had to do with a deal with British Telecommunications. Where did she come on this? What is she smoking?
Just like any company determined to excel, to achieve its business objectives and grow shareholder value, AYO must be judged on its performance. In AYO’s case, it has presented a business case to its investors to become one of the largest, sustainable, profitable and most successful black ICT companies in the country.
Rosemary Mosia is an independent non-executive director of AYO Technology Solutions Limited and the deputy chairperson of Sagarmatha Technologies. She holds a BComm Accounting degree from the University of the North; a postgraduate diploma in management at Wits Graduate School of Business; a Masters in Business Leadership from Unisa and she is currently studying towards a Higher Certificate in Tax Law at UCT.
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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