In a surprising turn of events, Kelly Group has lifted the suspension of Mthunzi Mdwaba.
Less than a week after Kelly stripped Mdwaba of his directorship and suspended him from the company, the group’s financial director Ferdie Pieterse released a memo to staff on Friday saying the suspension had been “lifted with immediate effect pending due process”.
The dramatic turnaround follows TechCentral’s report earlier in the day that the suspension appeared to be related to a fall-out between Mdwaba and Kelly Group CEO Grenville Wilson.
The group put out a terse statement to shareholders on Tuesday afternoon saying Mdwaba had been removed from the board. However, the statement indicated that he was still in the employ of the group.
Mdwaba is CEO of Kelly’s technology training subsidiary, Torque IT, which Kelly acquired in 2008. Or, rather, he was, until he was suspended shortly after Tuesday’s announcement to shareholders.
Kelly Group CEO Grenville Wilson was evasive when phoned for comment on Wednesday. He refused to say why Mdwaba had been removed from the board, saying it was a board issue. He has since taken leave and is only expected to return to the office on 7 September.
A source close to the situation told TechCentral that Mdwaba’s suspension might have been the result of a battle with Wilson.
It appears Wilson is planning to retire soon and the board had tipped Mdwaba as his successor.
However, the source, who asked not to be named given the sensitive nature of the situation, told TechCentral that the two men had disagreed over how the company would be managed after Wilson left.
Mdwaba was expected to take the reins on 1 October.
Though Friday’s memo indicates that Mdwaba’s suspension has been lifted, there is no word on whether he will be reinstated to the board or to his position as deputy CEO of the group.
It’s also not clear if Mdwaba remains the preferred candidate to succeed Wilson.
TechCentral hasn’t been able to reach Kelly Group board chairman Moss Ngoasheng, who is travelling in the US. — Candice Jones, TechCentral