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Lamberti's appointment to Eskom board 'under a cloud' shocking – former employee

Jan 24 2018 06:01
Tshidi Madia

Johannesburg – A woman who is suing newly appointed Eskom board member Mark Lamberti for racism and gender discrimination says she is shocked by the appointment.

Lamberti, who is the founder of Massmart Holdings, is the CEO of Imperial Holdings Limited and has previously served as a non-executive director at Business Leadership South Africa. He now joins the likes of Jabu Mabuza, Sindi Mabaso-Koyana, Nelisiwe Magubane and Malegapuru Makgoba who are tasked with cleaning up the management of the country's beleaguered electricity provider.

A former employee at Associated Motor Holdings, Adila Chowan, lodged an application against the CEO last year after she was fired. She was represented in the North Gauteng High Court by Advocate Dali Mpofu. The application relates to a promise of a position at the company in 2014.

Chowan, who is suing Lamberti for R18.3m, said she was stunned to learn he had been appointed to the Eskom board.

"I am actually shocked. I was shocked to see that someone hadn't done their research and reference checks on Mr Lamberti because he has a cloud hanging over him," Chowan told News24.

Chowan claimed she was suspended and subjected to a disciplinary hearing and then dismissed because of gender and racial discrimination.

Lamberti said he would provide comment on the matter later in the day.  

READ: Eskom banks on new board to reopen lending taps

Reputational damage

She claims Associated Motor Holdings broke promises it made to her. Chowan said she was promised the position of chief financial officer at the motoring company.

Furthermore, she said she suffered reputational damage and a loss of further career opportunity arising from the breach of contract.

Chowan accuses Lamberti of making unprofessional and unacceptable comments to about her, calling her "a female, employment equity candidate and technically competent" but that she required three to four years to further develop her skills.

"If someone commits a fraud and they are being investigated he would not be appointed to the board of directors," said Chowan.

Judgment in the matter is yet to be passed.

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