EDITORIAL: Holding execs to account
Owners of capital take an active stand and demand proper governance
This week’s termination of a consulting agreement between former Net1 CEO Serge Belamant and the firm shows what can be achieved when the owners of capital take an active stand and demand proper governance.
The US$50,000/month contract seemed to be a sweetener for the controversial Belamant after his forced departure, in May, from the company he founded. This followed accusations that Net1 had unfairly profited from the very vulnerable people it was supposed to help by distributing social grants payments.
Belamant has joined such illustrious company in the corporate wilderness as suspended Eskom CFO Anoj Singh. He fell last week after funders demanded his head in the wake of serious allegations of corruption at the utility. Like those at Eskom, the gatekeepers at Net1 first resisted attempts to oust Belamant, capitulating only when major shareholder Allan Grey intervened and demanded accountability. At the SABC, Hlaudi Motsoeneng and former acting CEO James Aguma are also out in the wilderness, as are Brian Molefe and Matshela Koko at Eskom. They all lost cover after an active society and funders stood up against corruption and lack of ethics in business.
These are but the start. There are still far too many more that need to be dealt with in this way, both in the public and private sectors.