- Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has confirmed receipt of a resignation from Mark Lamberti from the board of power utility, Eskom
- The EFF has called for Lamberti’s resignation earlier this week after the North Gauteng High Court found him guilty of discrimination over an incident which took place in 2015
- Imperial CEO and founder of Massmart Group, Lamberti is a successful entrepreneur
News breaking on Saturday of Mark Lamberti’s sudden resignation from the board of power utility, Eskom, was unexpected, although Lamberti had recently come under fire, and even faced demands by legal experts, civic organisations and political parties to resign from his position at Eskom.
Briefly.co.za learned this week that a shadow had been cast over Lamberti’s reputation pertaining to an incident which occured in 2015 during which Lamberti was accused of impairing the dignity of a former Imperial employee, Alida Chowan, by calling her “a female employment equity candidate.”
While the court ruling stopped short of actually finding race or gender discrimination, it led to the Black Business Council calling for tough action to be taken against him and the EFF calling for his resignation, an opinion echoed by constitutional law expert, Pierre DeVos.
“He abused his position to get rid of a subsidiary company’s group financial manager because she dared to complain about his racist and sexist behaviour. After the South Gauteng High Court handed down a scathing judgment against him in this matter, Lamberti’s position on the Eskom Board has surely become untenable, and he should be removed from this position forthwith,” wrote De Vos in an online opinion piece.
Imperial group responded to the ruling by going on record defending Lamberti. The company said Lamberti deeply regrets that his comments were upsetting to Chowan, but that it had never been his intention to insult or demean her.
Meanwhile, on radio during this past week the EFF’s Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, speaking to Karima Brown said Lamberti should step down from his role as Eskom board member following the North Gauteng High Court ruling against him.
“We’ll have to do this as well to call out racism and sexism and in that regard, we hope that he will be removed or Mr Lamberti should save such an effort and basically step down,” said Ndlozi.
Responding to the allegations Lamberti maintains that he is not guilty of what he is being painted as. “Contrary to the nature and tone of the current reporting, the High Court judgment found no findings of race or gender discrimination against AMH, Imperial or myself.,” he wrote in letter leaked to a business media outlet a few days ago.
Gordhan has commended Lamberti for doing the right thing by resigning. “Mr Lamberti must be commended for taking the difficult decision to put the interests of Eskom, the board and the country above all else.”
Lamberti has reportedly said he will not accept any financial compensation from the parastatal, so plans to return any fees previously paid to him during the past preparatory work done by the Eskom board.
READ ALSO: All shook up: Eskom gets a new board
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