STOCK TAKE | Was Sello Moloko forced to make a call?

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OPINION

Absa chair may have been forced to resign at Telkom

Why now? 

The timing of Sello Moloko's resignation as Telkom chair this week is curious.

It followed a few hours after Business Day published claims that the Prudential Authority (PA) wanted Moloko to focus his attention on his position at Absa.

More importantly, it came almost 13 months after he was first announced as Absa's chairperson. He was already filling that role at Telkom at the time.

Moloko was confirmed as the chairperson designate of the Absa board to replace Wendy Lucas-Bull in October 2021. He began his tenure as a chairman in April. So, there were six months after his appointment for anyone to raise concerns about Moloko having "too much on his plate" before he resumed his duties at Absa.

Instead, he led both boards for almost eight months before the news about the PA's reservations broke, followed by Moloko's subsequent swift resignation from Telkom.

The PA spent a lot of time dealing with the new Absa chairman issue. It was the PA that raised objections to Sipho Pityana's appointment to succeed Lucas-Bull. So, it's strange why it only emerged as an issue now.

READ | 'The decision simply went against him': Reserve Bank denies blocking Pityana as Absa chair

Other bank chairs have demanding side hustles. Capitec chairperson, Santie Botha, also heads the boards of Curro and Famous Brands. Standard Bank chairperson, Nonkululeko Nyembezi, does that job at Business Leadership SA as well.

Nedbank chairman, Paul Mpho Makwana, was the chairperson of ArcelorMittal SA at the time of his appointment but has since resigned. However, he is still the chairman of Safcol SOC Limited.

This raises the question of what exactly the PA's reservations were. Was this raised with Absa and Moloko when the PA approved his appointment as the bank's chairperson? Or is there more to this story? Telkom's financial position has deteriorated – its interim profit halved, as was announced this week – and it has been involved in tricky negotiations with MTN and Rain. Has this contributed to concerns that the telecommunication firm may become a greater distraction?

Unfortunately, the PA told News24 that it does not comment on entities it regulates and won't confirm whether, indeed, Moloko resigned from Telkom because of its concern. But, as the Pityana case showed, these things always have a way of coming out sooner or later


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Previously:

STOCK TAKE | Surviving on bread and Coke on the JSE

STOCK TAKE | Where did the Trustco trust go?

STOCK TAKE | Another SA firm burned in Australia and what the Post Office, Twitter have in common

STOCK TAKE | Will Gold Fields come up short?

STOCK TAKE | Chicken Licken eyes everyone's souls and Shoprite has fans in Singapore

STOCK TAKE | The Dis-Chem dodge - and will you be paying by cash, card or crypto?

STOCK TAKE | Discovery executives make bank

STOCK TAKE | Heineken keeps it green, Godongwana's careful words and SA's tax revolt odds

STOCK TAKE | In praise of SA's great worriers

STOCK TAKE | Eskom (sort of) stimulates business spending, while super yacht heads SA's way

STOCK TAKE | Telkom gets jilted and Markus 2.0

STOCK TAKE | The Dis-Chem drama - and Pick n Pay slump points to trouble ahead

STOCK TAKE | A tale of two smelters, and did banks get it wrong on home loans?

STOCK TAKE | Reserve Bank walks the hawk talk and Harmony re-emerges down under

STOCK TAKE | Allan Gray takes shine to Gold Fields - and Anglo's Kusile-sized generator

STOCK TAKE | Pick n Pay's big bet - and should you follow Gerrie?

STOCK TAKE | Is Sasol's hydrogen plan just hot air?

STOCK TAKE | Karooooo grows its Os and Ackerman states it like it is

STOCK TAKE | A German cure for SA labour woes - and what’s Schadenfreude in Swedish?

STOCK TAKE | Allan Gray takes shine to Gold Fields - and Anglo's Kusile-sized generator

STOCK TAKE | Telkom avoids signal loss amid the Rain - and the Woolies wage way

News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily represent the views of News24. 

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