Chairperson of struggling private schools group PLG resigns with immediate effect

Pembury owns retirement villages and private PLG Schools
Pembury owns retirement villages and private PLG Schools

The troubled owner of PLG Schools has now lost its chairperson, as more board members resign from the company. 

On Thursday, Pembury Lifestyle Group (PLG) announced that Roelof Martin Nel had stepped down with immediate effect.

On Wednesday, another board director, Roger Pitt -  who was appointed as a director of the group's audit and risk committee only three months ago - also stepped down with immediate effect. Several non-executive directors of the board have also left since the beginning of this year.

But it's not only the board that's been rocked by instability. In February, the group's external auditors resigned with immediate effect over concerns about compliance and corporate governance practices in the group. The auditors were followed by the company that was performing secretariat duties a month later.

PLG, which owns retirement villages and private schools in Gauteng, Limpopo and North West, began to show serious cracks in mid-2019 when the group's financial director left, which was followed by change in its external auditors. The company also did an about turn to say that its Retirement Villages segment no longer fits in with its long-term strategy. One of its service providers filed to have PLG liquidated.

In January 2020, the situation escalated when the board suspended its CEO over governance concerns. But he successfully fought his suspension when he threatened to have the board reconstituted. He was back in the driving seat by March.

As board members leave one by one, PLG is fighting another liquidation application, this time brought by its former auditors, Moore Stephens Inc. On Thursday, PLG said it is still negotiating the liquidation applications with the group, and will make further announcements in due course.

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