Former partner Andile Ngcaba takes Dimension Data to CCMA
The row over discrimination and unfair pay practices threatens to overshadow a successful black economic empowerment deal
Businessman Andile Ngcaba is taking his former employer and business partner Dimension Data to labour authorities over claims of discrimination and unfair remuneration practices.
Ngcaba joined Dimension Data in 2004 as executive chairman of the group’s Africa and Middle East businesses after his company, Convergence Partners, led a consortium that bought a 25% stake in the business for R380m.
He stepped down from his position in July after Convergence Partners sold its shares back to the group.
On Sunday, Ngcaba confirmed that he had taken the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
The row threatens to overshadow a successful black economic empowerment deal. The partnership with Convergence Partners has seen Dimension Data grow into one of the continent’s biggest technology companies.
In July, following the agreement to part ways, Dimension Data praised Ngcaba for his key strategic and operational role in transforming the group’s Africa and Middle East businesses.
Ngcaba said he learnt in May 2016 that executive directors, including his juniors, were benefiting from a long-term incentive scheme, from which he was excluded.
The benefits were disclosed as part of the new Companies Act requirements. He spoke to the directors and tried to reach an amicable solution.
The group proposed a settlement, but Ngcaba wanted information about other directors’ benefits to be disclosed before entering into any agreement.
He was also told that decisions related to the scheme and who benefited from it were at the company’s discretion.
“The directors need to disclose on what basis was I excluded from this scheme.... This for me is institutional racism,” said Ngcaba.
“I am pursuing this on a basis of principle. If this is happening at my level, how much more on a junior level?”
The reason to exit Dimension Data as an empowerment partner had nothing to do with the incentive scheme, he said.
Dimension Data said its policy was not to comment about matters subject to litigation.
Ngcaba also plans to take the matter to the UK and Japanese authorities, where Dimension Data’s parent, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, is based.