Why I have resigned from the board of HCI

Photo of Barbara Hogan from SA History Online.
Barbara Hogan    

On 26 October, former Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan resigned from the board of Hosken Consolidated Investments, which owns etv. Here is her resignation letter.

26 October 2014

To the Chair and Directors of HCI,

I hereby resign from the Board of Directors of HCI as I cannot associate myself with certain recent developments within the HCI GROUP concerning the Chair, Marcel Golding. I am uneasy with the proposition that the discontent with Marcel’s leadership can solely be attributed to the alleged unauthorized trading in Ellie’s shares. Whilst the latter requires investigation, I am mindful of the briefing that Yunis Shaik gave me when he claimed that SACTWU, a significant shareholder in HCI, had lost patience with the editorial practices of eTV, citing the failure to give prominent coverage to Minister Ebrahim Patel’s economic pronouncements, as an instance of such dissatisfaction. The fact that SACTWU later refused to approve any restructuring proposals which would have separated the media interests of the company from HCI, thereby enabling SABIDO to separate from HCI with Marcel at the helm of the former, (a restructuring endorsed by the HCI Board) reinforces my unease.

I am appalled at the unprofessional way in which the process to inquire into the Ellie’s trading matter has unfolded. That a sub-committee of the HCI Board, that was appointed to inquire into the merits of the allegations, took it upon itself to take such drastic actions, such as the suspension of Marcel Golding as CEO of SABIDO, a subsidiary of HCI without even a formal report to the HCI or SABIDO Boards, or even providing documentation in support thereof, is unacceptable to me. It now transpires that Remgro, a substantial shareholder in SABIDO, were also not kept informed of developments; I fail to understand why this was not done and such failure must surely be grossly negligent? I fail also to understand why no immediate plan was put into place regarding management arrangements at SABIDO with the hasty suspension of its CEO. That the Board was asked a little while thereafter to formally ratify all of these actions, with no formal written report or documentation in support thereof, is even more unacceptable, even though the Chair of the Sub-Committee had previously promised that such a report would be made available in due course. At all times during this process, the HCI Board has never been provided with a formal report concerning these matters. The matter is now very much in the public domain and the HCI Board has still not received a formal report and the value of the company has declined. Under these circumstances, I feel it is incumbent upon me to resign.

See also: Emails show who really runs the show.


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