Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) in a surprise move late on Wednesday, announced that it had suspended its executive chairperson Marcel Golding pending a disciplinary hearing into “gross misconduct”.
Golding was not available for comment at the time but HCI said in a statement that the suspended chairperson had started legal proceedings to block his suspension and the hearing that is scheduled to begin on Monday October 27.
It said Golding was also looking into “further relief”.
Golding, who featured in the Forbes list of “Ten African Multimillionaires You Have Never Heard Of”, is the largest individual shareholder of HCI – a listed holding company with significant stakes in casino chain Tsogo Sun Holdings, private free-to-air channel e.tv and Golden Arrow Bus Service, among others.
He has been chairperson of HCI since 1997 and has been a prominent figure, having served as a member of Parliament after 1994 and been a national general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers.
Senior staff at e.tv appeared to have been taken by surprise by the news, which emerged late on Wednesday.
HCI in a statement remained tight lipped about the reasons behind the sudden suspension, saying only that the decision had been made by the sitting of a special sub-committee mandated by the HCI Board, which included members of HCI’s Audit Committee and Social and Ethics sub-committees.
‘Embroiled in speculation‘
The company said that while it respected Golding’s right to pursue any action he deemed necessary. “HCI will take such steps as are necessary to protect its interests”.
Mark Rosin, chief operating officer of Sabido Investments, parent firm of e.tv, said as management they could not comment.
“Our job is to ensure the company continues to run and to ensure that the business is unaffected by this matter,” he said.
“We cannot become embroiled in speculation or comment on the matter.”