The collapse of Steinhoff has widely been exposed as South Africa’s worst corporate governance failure. While the Zondo commission dealt with failures of state-owned enterprises as a result of state capture, the private sector has largely escaped scrutiny, especially on why Steinhoff failed and its negative impact on the pension funds managed by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

As such, the announcement by the MultiChoice board to rescind the appointment of its chair-designate, Elias Masilela, to assume a newly created role of deputy chair has raised a lot of red flags. The key question is why the current chair, Imtiaz Patel, who has been at the helm of MultiChoice since 2018, did not retire at the end of March. The decision to extend his tenure to oversee the multibillion-rand transaction with French broadcaster Canal+ seems odd as Masilela has also been on the MultiChoice board since 2018 and does not need Patel to babysit him over a transaction that may take many y...

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