Ngcaba accuses Dimension Data of racism

Andile Ncgaba, chairman, founder and majority shareholder of Convergence Partners.
Andile Ncgaba, chairman, founder and majority shareholder of Convergence Partners.

Ex-Dimension Data chairman Andile Ngcaba is taking his former paymaster to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration over alleged "discrimination and unfair remuneration practices".

According to Business Day, Ngcaba said he learnt in May 2016 that executive directors, including his juniors, were benefiting from a long-term incentive scheme, from which he was excluded.

It adds that Ngcaba argues that by being excluded from the scheme, this amounts to institutional racism.

ITWeb this morning contacted Ngcaba, who confirmed he was taking Dimension Data to the labour authorities.

"I can confirm that I have a matter pertaining to discrimination and unfair remuneration practices lodged against Dimension Data with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration," he said in an e-mail.

However, he pointed out: "It should be noted that the decision to exit Dimension Data as an empowerment partner was a natural consequence of the unwinding of a BEE transaction and is completely unrelated."

When asked for comment, Dimension Data said: "Unfortunately, we cannot provide commentary as it is a Dimension Data group policy to not comment on matters which are subject to litigation."

In July, Ngcaba's Convergence Partners exited its investment in Dimension Data Middle East and Africa (DDMEA). Ngcaba then stepped down as chairman.

Convergence Partners first invested in Dimension Data in 2004 as part of the original DiData B-BBEE transaction and remained invested until June 2017.

The contractual investment term ended in September 2016, and Convergence Partners and DiData negotiated a consensual exit to the investment.

Although Convergence Partners exited its DDMEA investment, Dimension Data and Convergence remain co-investors in a number of businesses across SA and the rest of the African continent.

Following the withdrawal from Dimension Data, the systems integrator issued a statement praising its former chairman Ngcaba, saying: "Over the past 13 years, Andile has played a key strategic and operational role transforming DDMEA group companies. He also made a significant contribution to job creation, investments in education, SME and community development initiatives. Dimension Data is very proud to have partnered with Andile and Convergence Partners, and to have been able to tap into his knowledge and experience in the ICT sector."

Ngcaba was previously an activist aligned with the African National Congress during the struggle against Apartheid, and thereafter director-general of communications in the first democratically elected government of SA in 1994. He left government in 2003 to pursue a career in the private sector.

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