The circus that is Pembury Lifestyle Group (PLG) took another farcical turn last week when founder and CEO Andrew McLachlan filed a R44m defamation claim against its chair, Martin Nel, who promptly quit.Pembury, which owns 11 schools and a number of retirement homes, has become an emblem of the JSE’s reluctance to protect investors by cracking down on errant behaviour.The JSE finally suspended Pembury from trading last week — but only after it broke numerous deadlines to file its accounts for the year to December. But it means that 1,800 investors, who ploughed R200m into the company when it listed in 2018, are unable to sell their shares. With the board now in chaos and directors resigning almost every week, it would seem their odds of recovering most of that money seem dim.Nel was appointed only last October to fix the company after a series of governance disasters, a stream of resignations (including its auditors) and allegations that Pembury was running unregistered schools and ...

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