It’s hard to see how Sipho Pityana’s high-stakes gamble in suing the Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority has done anything to enhance the reputation of a clearly dedicated one-time civil servant and respected business leader.
This week’s answering affidavit from Kuben Naidoo, the deputy governor of the Bank and CEO of the Prudential Authority, lays devastating waste to Pityana’s claims that he blocked his bid to be chair of Absa, following allegations of sexual harassment made against Pityana by an employee of AngloGold Ashanti.
Though Pityana abruptly quit AngloGold soon after the claims were made, he hotly denies the allegations.
Naidoo now says Absa never formally nominated Pityana as a potential chair in the first place. And he says Pityana’s complaint that the Bank had adopted an "informal process" in considering his nomination (which it then rejected) was "simply wrong".
Also, while Pityana claimed Maria Ramos had a quiet word with Naidoo to convince him to reject Pityana’s bid, the Bank denies this too.
This soap opera is now getting predictably messy — and it seems most likely that no-one will emerge from this feeling like they’re the victor.
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