Daybreak Farms CEO says he will approach Labour Court following abrupt dismissal

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Chickens in a poultry farm.
Chickens in a poultry farm.
  • State-owned chicken producer Daybreak Farms has fired its CEO after suspending him in January. 
  • Boas Seruwe says he will head to court to challenge the dismissal as he did not have a disciplinary hearing. 
  • But Daybreak says Seruwe was fired over allegations of serious violations. 

The board of Daybreak Farms has fired its CEO Boas Seruwe, saying it has "no confidence" in his ability to lead the state-owned chicken producer.

Seruwe was initially suspended in January. 

Speaking to Fin24 on Wednesday, he said that he would be approaching the Labour Court over his dismissal, as he did not have a disciplinary hearing.  

"They terminated me before a hearing," he said. "Why are they afraid? What kind of justice is that?"

Daybreak is one of South Africa's largest integrated chicken producers, slaughtering over a million birds a week. It is owned by SA's state-run asset manager, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which manages the retirement funds of most South African public servants.

The PIC previously referred questions over tension between some senior staff members and the group's board to back to Daybreak, saying it does not get involved in the running of the company. 

In a statement to Fin24, Daybreak said it fired Seruwe due to "alleged serious violations of his financial, procurement and fiduciary responsibilities as Daybreak CEO", as well as a breakdown in trust. 

These allegations relate to the findings of a recently completed forensic probe.

"The board has resolved that the relationship of trust between them and Mr Seruwe has broken down irreparably."

But Seruwe said that, if Daybreak's board were sure of the findings in the forensic probe, it would air them at a planned disciplinary hearing. 

He said the disciplinary hearing was supposed to take start next week. 

"What they want to do is get me out," he said. 

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