In an unprecedented development in the history of corporate South Africa, JSE-listed Oakbay Resources and Energy has alerted the market to the resignation of three politically-connected directors from the board due to the “political attack” the company had endured in the wake of the announcement by deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, that he was offered the role of finance minister by the Gupta family.
Read the SENS here.
The company says non-executive Chairman, Dr. Atul Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Varun Gupta, and non-executive director of Shiva Uranium (a major subsidiary) Duduzane Zuma, have resigned from their positions with immediate effect.
The SENS reads: “This decision follows a sustained political attack on the Company, and the concern that the jobs and livelihoods of nearly one thousand employees would be at immediate risk as a result of the outgoing directors’ association with the Company. Accordingly, the outgoing directors are of the view that it would be in the best interests of the Company, its shareholders and employees for them to step down with immediate effect.”
Executive assistant Jolene Prinsloo confirmed to Mineweb that while the directors will step aside, there are no plans for the Guptas to relinquish their majority shareholding in the company.
The Chairman’s role will be temporarily filled by Mr. Terence Rensen, who is currently the existing lead independent director, and the role of Acting CEO will be filled by the current Finance Director, Mr. Trevor Scott.
The Guptas released the following statement on Friday:
“It is with deep regret and a heavy heart, that following a period of sustained political attack on our family and our businesses, we took the decision yesterday to resign all executive and non-executive positions held in Oakbay Investments, by Gupta family members.
“Oakbay’s executive committee and the CEOs of each of the businesses will continue to oversee the management and running of the business and all portfolio companies going forward.
“We find it totally unacceptable that several thousand direct employees and tens of thousands of their dependents will have to suffer as a result of the campaign against Oakbay and the Gupta family.
“By stepping down from all executive and non-executive positions and any involvement in the business, we hope to save the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people in our great rainbow nation.”
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