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More boardroom drama for 4Sight as audit chair quits

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Boardroom drama continued to play out at the JSE-listed diversified technology group 4Sight, as the chairman of the audit and risk committee resigned in a huff on Monday.

Geoffrey Carter tendered his resignation with immediate effect after “false accusations” were circulated in e-mails by executives, making the situation untenable, the company said in a statement to shareholders.

This is the latest episode in a series of events at the company following a surprise demand of a board shake-up by a major shareholder in August.

In the Monday SENS statement, 4Sight said Carter had resigned due to the untenable situation at a major subsidiary level, “which has led to such subsidiary executives sending a variety of e-mails containing, inter alia, false accusations and also looking to reconstitute the board as separately announced”.

In an unusual move, Carter hits back at his detractors in the same statement, saying in his view it equates to “Trumpism strategy – attack is the best form of defence and rule by division. As for the latest barrage of e-mails, it is becoming incomprehensible, apparently personal and diabolical.”

He continued: “As chairperson of the audit and risk committee, I am further of the view that my position is being compromised to a point of no return, where serious issues of financial irregularities have occurred, yet no consequences, except an all-out battle of egos and clash of characters.

“I have never experienced such hostility on any board of directors that I have been privileged to serve on – never. I am therefore unwilling to serve and provide my services under these circumstances.”

4Sight said Carter’s resignation was deeply regretted and he had served the board in an “ethical, constructive and professional manner from before the original listing of the company”.

The firm was listed in October 2017, at which time SA was its smallest revenue contributor, at only about 3% of revenue. In June 2018, former CEO Antonie van Rensburg told ITWeb this had grown to about 40% of revenue locally, and by 31 December 2018, this was up to almost 60%.

4Sight has been showing signs of growth and has made a lot of acquisitions since listing, which it said were to boost its capabilities in various industries.

In October 2017, it purchased AGE Technologies for R80 million and also announced the acquisition of BluESP Holdings for R54.8 million. In January 2018, it finalised the acquisition of Foursight South Africa and its subsidiaries, for R85.6 million.

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