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EOH denounces “smear campaign” against CEO Van Coller

Stephen van Coller

A group that claims being former employees and shareholders under the name “Save EOH,” who have all chosen to remain anonymous, filed a complaint with the Zondo Commission of Inquiry over allegations of state capture, claiming that the CEO EOH’s current member, Stephen van Coller, gave false testimony to the Commission.

They claim he orchestrated a crisis that caused the group’s market value to drop by more than half to 6.8 billion rand, from 16.4 billion rand when he joined three years ago. .

The group submitted the submission to the Zondo commission last Wednesday (November 17). On Monday (November 22), the Zondo commission responded to Save EOH’s lawyer, Heinrich Valentine, stating: “The commission is not used to receiving anonymous submissions.

The commission advised Valentine that if its clients (Save EOH) “want the commission to review their submission but keep their identity a secret,” then “they should justify such a request to the commission.”

Save EOH argues that the former ‘great power plant’ employed 11,500 people, but has since shrunk to 5,500. immeasurable suffering, ”said a press release. of Save EOH released last week.

He calls on Van Coller to resign, claiming he perjured himself on the Zondo commission, and because of his “poor performance” since becoming CEO.

“Smear campaign”

In response, EOH fired back and said the “smear campaign” included malicious and frivolous allegations against Van Coller. The company noted that earlier this year it filed civil lawsuits against several former EOH executives to recover more than R6.4 billion in damages, and said that this latest Save campaign EOH is just an attempt to retaliate against these civil actions.

Contacted for details on who exactly is part of Save EOH, a spokesperson who requested anonymity said none of the former employees affiliated with Save EOH were being sued by the company for damages- civil interests, they are therefore motivated neither by revenge nor by financial advantage.

Asked why members have chosen to remain anonymous and in so doing devalue their claims, the spokesperson said they would remain anonymous for the time being “due to fear of targeted harassment and other security concerns “.

The group deplores the continued decline in the EOH share price from around R40 when Van Coller arrived to around R7 today.

Valentine, the group’s lawyer, also did not provide any further information on the identity of the group’s members. “All I can say is that I represent the group,” he said.

In his media statement, Save EOH said around 60 companies had been divested, including the company’s so-called Crown Jewels, for a fraction of their value, causing some of the capitalization loss. 6 billion rand.

This included Construction Computer Software (CCS), a South African company that would rank among the best in the world in its field, with customers in 50 countries. It was sold to a German company for 25% of its market value, said Save EOH, who added that he presented this evidence to the Zondo Commission.

The group bemoans the continued decline in the EOH share price of around R40 when Van Coller hit around R7 today. He also wonders why EOH spent 245 million rand with the law firm ENSafrica, the result of which appears to have been aimed at “simply defaming EOH, purging management and board members, while also boosting the image of ( Van Coller) as a great leader, great CEO and a “corruption fighter,” said Save EOH.

“Van Coller artificially created a major crisis in EOH when there was none, and then presented himself as the white knight saving her,” said Save EOH’s statement.

Earlier this year, EOH filed a civil lawsuit against former CEO Asher Bohbot, former (and late) Chief Financial Officer John King and two other executives for a combined R6.4 billion for governance failures while running the business.

The charges against King and Bohbot include delinquency, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.

Other former administrators also face charges following an ENSafrica investigation in 2019 that revealed evidence of widespread wrongdoing at EOH. It came after Microsoft ended its relationship with the IT group over a seemingly corrupt Defense Department contract.

Evidence presented to the Zondo Commission, and described by ENSafrica’s forensic unit, paints a damning picture of a company involved in corrupt public sector tenders, with suspicious transactions worth d ‘approximately R 1.2 billion discovered in EOH’s public sector subsidiary, EOH Mthombo.

Swing to enjoy

Van Coller was brought in to clean EOH. the group latest results for the fiscal year ended July 2021, show a change from an operating loss of 1.3 billion rand to an operating profit of 147 million rand.

In various presentationsVan Coller spoke at length about the culture of corruption he discovered within the organization and its various governance failures.

Save EOH questioned the need to restate the financial statements for the previous four years, which resulted in billions of rand in write-offs and made it impossible to properly analyze the company’s performance. Van Coller is also accused by the group of having used unfair labor practices “to purge the management, the members of the board of directors and any other person” who stood up to him.

EOH has issued the following statement in response to Save EOH’s claims:

In June 2021, EOH filed civil lawsuits against a number of former EOH executives, claiming total damages of around R6.4 billion. EOH’s board of directors decided to do so after a thorough legal investigation. Charges laid include delinquency, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. Other civil lawsuits against other people may follow as the process progresses.

EOH’s Board of Directors believes that the anonymous ‘Save EOH’ smear campaign, which recently launched malicious and frivolous allegations against EOH CEO Stephen van Coller, is an attempt to retaliate against these civil actions and the efforts of Stephen van Coller and his team to turn the organization around. .

EOH’s Board of Directors headed by its Chairman Andrew Mthembu fully supports the EOH management team, including Van Coller, and recognizes their significant achievements over the past three years. The EOH board of directors considers this personal attack to be deplorable.

EOH’s board said it “had no further comment on the matter.”

  • This article was originally published by Moneyweb and is republished by TechCentral with permission

EOH denounces “smear campaign” against CEO Van Coller

Source link EOH denounces “smear campaign” against CEO Van Coller

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