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HCI suspends Marcel Golding due to Ellies shares

Follows unauthorized purchase of R24 million of shares in Ellies.

Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) executive chairman Marcel Golding was suspended over the purchase of R24 million worth of shares in Ellies, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

He allegedly purchased the shares without the necessary authorization, the news service reported citing South African court documents submitted to the labour court in which Golding seeks to overturn his suspension.

 “I contend that I acted in good faith in what I, at the time, believed to be the third respondent’s best interests in purchasing the shares,” Golding said in the court application, referring to Sabido.

“It is my understanding of the manner in which we have conducted business in the past that the CEO had discretion to make investment decisions on behalf of the company with the expectation that they would subsequently be ratified,” Bloomberg reported him saying.

Golding is a respected businessman and, apart from his role at HCI, is a non-executive director of Tsogo Sun Holdings, non-executive chairman of Johnnic Holdings, CEO of eTV, chairman of KWV and non-executive chairman of Celcom Group.

He served as a member of parliament after 1994, having risen to prominence as a union boss. Golding has always kept a low media profile. He was however featured in an article published in Forbes magazine in April entitled Ten African Multimillionaires You’ve Never Heard Of.

HCI did not reveal what the nature of the alleged misconduct is. The company said in the statement that the alleged misconduct in question was found to be of a “very serious nature warranting disciplinary action”.

There is an existing link between HCI and Ellies. Last year HCI and Remgro launched the free-to-air service Openview. Users had to buy a satellite dish and decoder to view the free channels and Ellies is one of the suppliers offering a compatible decoder.

Ellies said at its results announcement in July that the sales of these decoders were lower than expected.

Golding as well as Ellies CEO Wayne Samson could not be reached for comment. 

Disciplinary proceedings are scheduled to start as early as Monday 27 October.

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