Golding was suspended as HCI chair and summoned to a disciplinary hearing on 27 October to answer for charges relating to purchase of 24 million rands worth of shares in JSE listed company, [DATA ELI:Ellies].
The purchase instruction was sent by Golding on behalf Sabido, a HCI subsidiary of which he is chief executive officer. Golding is also CEO of broadcasting network, eTV.
The [DATA HCI:HCI] board has accused Golding of misconduct on the grounds that he did not obtain board approval prior to purchasing the shares.
On Friday, Golding’s council argued that the suspension was unlawful on the grounds that HCI Management Services (MS), the business unit responsible for the suspension, is not his direct employer. Council argued that HCI MS overrode the boards of both Sabido and eTV.
(READ MORE: Golding drags HCI to court)
Judge Steenkamp today ruled that Golding is in fact employed by HCI MS, as there is evidence that he receives a monthly salary of just over 480,000 rand from the business unit.
On these ground, Judge Steenkamp ruled that the decision by HCI to suspend and discipline Golding is not unlawful and there is no “ulterior motive”.
In court papers submitted last week, Golding had stated that the board had “ulterior motives” for the suspension and the action was a “bloodless coup”. He stated:
“The disciplinary hearing has been launched after months of attempts to get me to relinquish the chair of the board of HCI and resign as CEO of eTV and Sabido as a result of my refusal to permit eTV to be used for political purposes by a trade union that is invested in the group.”
The disciplinary hearing is most likely to go ahead this week. HCI’s AGM will take place at 11am on 30 October in Cape Town.