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Stock Exchange News Service (Sens) announcements from two apparently unrelated JSE-listed companies last week are bound to raise all sorts of questions in the market about governance in general and the people and companies concerned in particular. They are the sorts of questions that do no good for the reputation of the companies nor for SA’s reputation among global investors.

The first announcement came from Absa, just before 5pm on Friday. The banking group said its board had decided to remove Sipho Pityana from his positions as lead independent director and chair of the remuneration committee, and therefore from the board’s directors’ affairs committee. Curiously, there was no suggestion that Pityana might also step down from the board — though he has taken the Absa Group and Absa Bank to court, along with the banking regulator, because someone else got the Absa chair Pityana had his eye on...

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