The past year has not been kind to investors in Africa’s largest technology provider, EOH Holdings. Over the past 18 months, the stock has shrunk 80% to about R33/share, from R171/share in January 2017 — a loss of almost R20bn. It’s been a dismal rout for a company that, since its listing in 1998, had become a market darling, building up a portfolio of more than 5,000 mostly blue-chip clients, with operations in 37 countries. For investors, this trajectory was a windfall: R10,000 invested in founder and CEO Asher Bohbot’s company at its listing grew to R685,106 by Christmas 2016. Then it all came crashing down. The problem was that, to justify its darling status, EOH had been frantically doing deals in recent years, desperate to show profit growth. Inevitably, some of its partners turned out to be less than salubrious. Cracks first began to show last April, when it emerged that EOH director Jehan Mackay had mysteriously allowed a shadowy middleman called Lunga Ncwana, who was repute...

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