One of the new Eskom board members is not exactly “helping” turn the power utility around by causing another media scandal and public outcry.
Imperial Holdings CEO Mark Lamberti was recently made a board member at Eskom to help with the massive clean-up job needed. Now, just a few months after being appointed, Lamberti has been drawing in the headlines.
The North Gauteng High Court has ruled that Lamberti wrongfully impaired the dignity of a highly qualified and experienced black female employee. Lamberti referred to the woman as “a female employment equity” candidate.
After the news broke, TimesLIVE reported that Eskom was now studying the court ruling before making any public comments.
The female employee at an Imperial subsidiary, Adila Chowan, brought a court application against Lamberti in 2017 after she was fired in September 2015. As proceedings continued, the court found her to be a credible witness.
Chowan gave evidence detailing how she was sidelined from being appointed the company’s CFO.
Lamberti has since issued an apology on Tuesday afternoon, saying he “deeply regrets” the actions.
According to Imperial, it had not been Lamberti’s intention to “insult or demean” his former staff member. Nevertheless, he apologised “unreservedly”
Chowan also told TimesLIVE that Lamberti had originally offered her a settlement to handle things out of court.
“I’m a professional person. I was offered a settlement to drop this case‚ but for me this matter was not about money. It wasn’t just about me. I really hope other people will think twice before they make such comments.”
During her testimony, Chowan told the court how Lamberti had gone after he status in the company even though she had a proven track record.
“I had built my career. I had been a CFO. I had acted as a CEO. All those achievements were not being recognised‚ apart from the fact that I was now being objectified in terms of being a female employment equity candidate.”
While some are already calling for Lamberti’s sacking, the pressure now sits on Eskom when it should be focussing on its turnaround strategy.
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