The board members of South Africa’s Postbank have resigned with immediate effect due to treatments of hostility from the Minister of Communication, Mondli Gungubele.
The Chairman of South African Bank Postbank, Thabile Wonci, along with several board members, have turned in their resignation letters after citing treatments of severity and hostility from Gungubele.
This was confirmed by Wonci to South African News Media News24 on Thursday morning after a leaked letter shared on social media platform, X (formerly Twitter), dated September 12, was addressed to the Communication Minister.
The leaked letter from the Postbank board members reads: “As the chairperson, together with the board, we have had the utmost privilege of leading the bank with fidelity, honesty, due diligence and with duty of care and skills, often times working beyond the call of duty to ensure that the bank is able to execute its mandate.”
Admitting the setback, they added that the work earlier stated is an “intrinsic part of any institution’s journey” but the hostility suffered by the board under Minister Gungubele seeks to undermine the credibility of Postbank and the individual responsibility of the board members.
The letter added that “This was particularly painful as we did everything in our power to manage and ameliorate consequent risk to the bank and hardship that would ultimately be suffered by the most vulnerable stakeholders of the bank, especially grant recipients.”
The Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, and the Postbank head Wonci are expected to hold a briefing on Thursday afternoon concerning the payment of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) grants to recipients which has been delayed since last Tuesday.
The briefing is to “provide an overview of the causes of the system outage and outline measures by both Sassa and Postbank to prevent similar events from recurring in the future”.
Postbank’s communications department has said that all enquiries concerning the resignation would be attended to during the briefing session.
The South African company is currently encountering some technical glitches that have prevented some Sassa grant beneficiaries from accessing payment.
The letter added that, in the last two years, they have upheld their commitment to serving the bank and putting the interests of the stakeholders first.
“However, recent events and unfortunate circumstances between the minister and the board have compelled us to make this difficult decision. There is absolutely no self-respecting board that can perform any meaningful work with the level of external interference, undue pressure and influence that our board has endured over the past couple of months. This obviously has deeply disturbed us.
“We cannot, in good conscience, continue to be associated with an institution whose Board continues to be undermined and disrespected.” The letter read.