Four short years ago, an unusual set of events took place at the heart of the Absa banking group. Eight months earlier, corporate and investment banking unit head Stephen van Coller had left Absa for a career in the telecommunications sector.

The CEO of the SA division of the corporate and investment banking unit, former Land Bank CEO Phakamani Hadebe, was considered by Absa insiders to be Van Coller’s natural successor. However, during a presentation to staff in May 2017, it emerged that Hadebe had not got the job. Rather, an announcement of his resignation was made, and a group of black professionals staged a walkout in solidarity...

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