Adapt IT’s Sbu Shabalala details reasons for his leave of absence

Sbu Shabalala, the chief executive officer of JSE-listed technology company Adapt IT, has detailed the reasons for his leave of absence, at his request, for three months with effect from 10 May 2021.

His request to temporarily step aside comes after the Sunday Times reported serious armed assault allegations against Shabalala by his estranged wife, Neo.

Shabalala is accused of ordering heavily armed men to attack Neo Shabalala’s partner, who is now in critical condition in hospital.

MyBroadband asked Sbu Shabalala for comment, but his spokesperson said he has been advised by his legal representatives to decline to make any statements at this stage.

Shabalala said the following in a statement on Tuesday (11 May), after shares in Adapt IT fell in excess of 13% on Monday (10 May).

“I would like to clarify my leave in context to the allegations made.

“I have decided to take extended leave.

“The last five months have been some of the most difficult of my life. After more than 15 years of the relentless work of building a JSE-listed entity, I need a little respite. Time for rest and self-care while I deal with personal battles.

“I’ve had family tragedies, at a time when the business is going through its most important business lifecycle.

“In the midst of this, I am now being accused of violent and uncharacteristic behaviour, in what is clearly an unrelated attack. I have been caught in the crossfire.

“This has taken a toll on my well being. My instinct is to soldier on. However, those closest to me, who care for me, have advised that I take time out for self and family care. I listened. Hence my decision to take leave.

“My trust in the competence and excellence of our management team made the decision somewhat easier.

“The allegations against me are without merit. The best way to deal with them is through the judicial system. This is not only to clear my name of wrongdoing but to also bring those who are using my proximity to the situation to serve their own ends. This campaign is cold-hearted and must be condemned.

“Taking time to regroup is an essential part of good leadership and there is never a perfect time.

“I hope this clarifies my position as I will not be engaging these issues until I have resolved the dispute.

“Please respect both my personal and family’s privacy as we take much needed time out.”

Tiffany Dunsdon assumes the role of interim chief executive officer for the next three months. Dunsdon has served as executive director and chief commercial officer of Adapt IT, the group said in a statement on Monday.

“In addition, Tony Vicente has been appointed as an Executive Director of Adapt IT. Tony was appointed as chief strategy officer of Adapt IT in September 2018 and will continue in this role with strong operational oversight,” it said.

“Management continues its focus on business operations.”

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Adapt IT’s Sbu Shabalala details reasons for his leave of absence