- No motion against Abdoola, directors to resign
- Balopi resigns as Board chair
- AGM to vote in new directors
Just a few weeks ahead of the Turnstar Holdings Limited Annual General Meeting (AGM) billed for the 28th of July, Managing Director (MD) Gulaam Abdoola seems to have a full backing of the board of directors and shareholders to remain the MD of the property titan.
On Thursday last week, Turnstar made an announcement on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) X-News platform of the upcoming AGM. But the release mentioned nothing about any motion for Abdoola or any of the directors to resign. Post the Dubai scandal, there were some insinuations that some shareholders want a motion of no confidence against Abdoola and some of the directors.
Post the Dubai scandal, the group had said it did a road show to clear the air with stakeholders and shareholders. At these interactions, the group said shareholders had come to understand what had transpired. It appears according to the X-News announcement that rather, Abdoola has the full backing of the board and shareholders. According to a cautionary by the company this week, top of the items to be discussed at the AGM are the resignation of outgoing board chair Patrick Balopi as well as the nomination of new board directors.
Balopi having earlier advised that he would no longer be standing for Chairmanship of the Company has decided after careful consideration not to put himself up for re-election at the AGM. Balopi was first Appointed Director of Turnstar in July 2001. He also served in several of its Board Committees until he resigned in June 2006. He was later re – appointed as a Director and served as Chairman of the Board of Turnstar in July 2016 up until his resignation from the Board of Turnstar on the 5th of July 2022.
Balopi was a Member of Parliament for over 20 years, and held various Cabinet and Ministerial positions between 1984 to 1998. He was elected Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Botswana in 2004 to 2009, and served simultaneously as Chairperson of the SADC Parliamentary Forum. He is recipient of the Presidential Order of Honour (PH) and the Melvin Jones Fellowship (MJF) of Lions Club International. He was appointed by His Excellency Lt. General Ian Khama Seretse Khama, the President of The Republic of Botswana as the country’s eminent representative to Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Board of Trustees, headed by former British Prime Minister, Right Honourable John Major.
During Balopi’s tenure as Board Chairperson Turnstar Assets under management grew from P2billion to current P2.46 billion.The Company remains indebted to Mr Balopi’s leadership over the years. A board director who has put his name forward for nomination as Chairman is Butler Phirie. Further to that, Pierre J Bezuidenhout has tendered his resignation from the Board, having served the prescribed period of 9 years.
Board rotations are a standard and necessary practice, but the Turnstar Board also regards them as paving the way for new perspectives from prospective Board member candidates being younger, as well as experienced individuals who can add further value and guidance to the business. Bezuidenhout retired on 30 June 2022. Proposed new Board members include Thobo Kerekang and Amaresh Chetty, both of whom will, post-ratification, serve as Non-Executive Directors.
Kerekang is a practising attorney registered and working in Botswana. He is at present a Legal Executive at the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA). Prior to this, he was Legal Counsel and Company Secretary at Kgalagadi Breweries Limited. He is also the Co-Founder of Keno Custom Suits. Chetty is the Chief Investment Officer at Ngwenya Capital and has in excess of 15 years’ investment and commercial experience across various sectors, including but not limited to real estate, healthcare, and financial services. The Board says the idea is to rope in new experience, diversity and expertise that both Kerekang and Chetty can bring to Turnstar. The effective date of appointment for the two is 1st July 2022.