Adapt IT CEO Sbu Shabalala said on Tuesday that the serious allegations levelled against him in a weekend newspaper report are “without merit”.
Shabalala has taken a leave of absence from Adapt IT for three months to “attend to personal matters”, the company said in a statement to investors on Monday.
Shabalala has now decided to speak out about the allegations against him. He is accused of hiring armed thugs to threaten his estranged wife Neo’s partner, suspended eThekwini city manger Sipho Nzuza.
The attack was reportedly so serious that Nzuza had to have his spleen and part of a kidney removed; he remains in intensive care in a Durban hospital, according to a report published in the Sunday Times. Adapt IT shares fell sharply on news of the violent attack and Shabalala’s alleged involvement in it.
“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,” Shabalala said in a statement issued through his spokesman.
‘I need a little respite’
“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,” he said. “I’ve had family tragedies, at a time when the business is going through its most important life cycle.
“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,” he said without elaborating.
Shabalala said the allegations have “taken a toll” on his 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.”
He reiterated that the allegations against him are “without merit” and said 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.
“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.”
Adapt IT chief commercial officer Tiffany Dunsdon, who is also a long-serving executive director of the JSE-listed software services group, will take over as CEO on an interim basis. – © 2021 NewsCentral Media