The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has ruled Absa must hand over its record of decision resulting in the removal of former lead independent director Sipho Pityana from the board in November 2021.

Moneyweb report notes Pityana was accused of sexual harassment against an employee while he was serving as chairman of AngloGold Ashanti – a charge he has steadfastly denied.

As a consequences of these allegations, Pityana argued in court that he was unlawfully removed as a director of Absa, his name has been tarnished, and he was turned down for the position of Absa chair to replace the outgoing Wendy Lucas-Bull.

Two investigations into the matter were conducted, the first by AngloGold Ashanti, which was unfavourable to Pityana.

Another investigation by senior attorney Peter Harris, commissioned by Absa, found that the first report was flawed to the extent that it did not obtain corroborating evidence from independent sources.

In a separate case, the SA Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority has been roped into the proceedings amid claims that it had objected to his nomination as Absa chair before the selection process had been allowed to run its course – effectively poisoning his chances of being nominated as Absa chair.

The bank brought an interlocutory application, arguing that Pityana had used the wrong court rule (rule 53, which deals with review applications) in seeking access to the bank’s record of decision.

It was this case that was decided in Pityana’s favour.

Pityana told Moneyweb that Absa must now hand over the missing record of decision dealing with his removal from the board.

This will allow him to more forcefully plead his case that the bank unlawfully removed him as a director.

Full Moneyweb report