Venete Klein. Picture: THE HERALD
Venete Klein. Picture: THE HERALD

The Institute of Directors of Southern Africa is tight-lipped about the departure of its chairwoman, Venete Klein, who resigned a week before concluding her tenure, with a news report claiming she was ousted over a dispute involving Eskom.

BizNews reported on Monday that Klein was forced to resign from the institute’s board over her role in the latest controversy surrounding Eskom.

Klein served on Eskom’s board as a nonexecutive director for two-and-a-half years, resigning early in May "due to potential conflicts with another board that I serve on", she said.

The Eskom board has come under fire for reappointing Brian Molefe as CEO after he voluntarily stepped down in 2016, following former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s state of capture report that linked him to the Gupta family. Klein, however, said there was no disagreement between her and the institute concerning Molefe.

"My resignation from the [board] represents a confluence of factors spanning personal and professional; it was a voluntary decision by myself," she said.

Klein holds board positions at the Reserve Bank and Calgro M3, among others.

Her resignation comes just a week before her three-year tenure was due to end. She would have stepped down at the institute’s annual meeting next week, the institute said.

Klein declined to comment on the timing of her resignation.

The institute denied that Klein was forced to resign.

Klein had been on the board for six years, serving as chair for the past three years.

"Venete has served the [institute] with diligence…. We acknowledge her efforts, commitment and dedication to fulfilling the objectives of the [institute] and wish her well in her future endeavours," it said.

It would not answer specific questions relating to reasons for her resignation. This follows an earlier statement in which the institute said the public outcry against Molefe’s reappointment demonstrated how important transparency was to good corporate governance.

"A lack of transparency casts doubts on the good faith of an organisation’s leadership."

The institute has been heavily involved in the development of the King Codes on Corporate Governance.

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