Two laggards who failed to meet the JSE’s deadline for publishing financial statements had their shares suspended on the first trading day of November.

Grocery chain Choppies was suspended on both the Botswana and the Johannesburg stock exchanges on Thursday, following repeated excuses as to why its results for the year to end-June have not been released yet.

Trading in Choppies’ shares was originally halted by both stock exchanges on September 27, but the grocery chain convinced the bourses to lift the suspension because it had changed auditors.

A potential warning for Choppies’ shareholders that trouble was looming was the resignation with immediate effect on October 24 of independent director Syd Muller with no reasons given.

Orion Real Estate has not provided its shareholders with any reasons as to why its results for its financial year to end-June were delayed, but did issue a statement on June 20 saying it had replaced BDO with RSM as its auditors.

“The change in audit firm, effective immediately, was initiated by the company as a measure to ensure the effective management of the cost of the audit for the foreseeable future,” Orion announced shortly before its financial year end.

Choppies said on September 27 that PwC, which it had appointed as an external auditor in January, was re-assessing its past accounts, a process which was “complex by nature and requires careful analysis in order to determine the impact on prior and current periods”.

Other problems the Botswana-based grocery chain warned of was a shareholder dispute in Zimbabwe.