The plot thickens.
Here is the Joburg Ballet Statement:
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Further to the statement issued by Mr Dirk Badenhorst’s attorney, Mr Mark Thompson, yesterday (Monday, 23 November) the Board of Directors of Joburg Ballet would like to clarify a number of points.
At a meeting of the Board of Directors of Joburg Ballet on 4 August 2015, headed by Acting Chairman James Campbell, a unanimous resolution was passed to suspend the Chief Executive Officer Dirk Badenhorst, pending the outcome of formal disciplinary proceedings. Investigations had raised serious concerns relating to issues of poor corporate governance and financial mismanagement within the Company.
A disciplinary hearing was scheduled to take place on 11 September 2015; however, the disciplinary hearing was postponed twice at the request of Mr Badenhorst’s attorneys, and was eventually scheduled for 18 November 2015.
On Wednesday, 18 November Mr Badenhorst resigned as CEO of Joburg Ballet prior to the commencement of his internal disciplinary hearing, which was scheduled to take place on 18 and 19 November. As a result of this development, the disciplinary hearing became purely academic.
In the statement issued yesterday (23 November), Mr Badenhorst’s attorney stated that “[at] the commencement…Campbell’s legal team approached us with a proposal to settle the matter” which is misleading. Discussion by both legal teams led to an agreement that Mr Badenhorst would resign and that the Company would issue a neutral statement confirming the resignation. It should be noted that the Board of Joburg Ballet had on two previous occasions rejected settlement proposals received from Mr Badenhorst, which would have included more onerous terms and conditions for Joburg Ballet. The result of Wednesday’s discussions, which was Mr Badenhorst’s unconditional resignation, was a victory for Joburg Ballet.
No other terms were agreed between the two parties.
The Board of Directors reiterates that the outstanding civil claim against Mr Badenhorst pending from 2014 relating to the misappropriation of Joburg Ballet funds and the illegal transfer of R890,000 from Joburg Ballet into one of Mr Badenhorst’s company accounts will still be pursued. The Board and its legal team are also reviewing the next steps regarding certain issues raised in the internal disciplinary hearing, which may result in those issues being added to the civil claims against Mr Badenhorst. These would include, inter alia, onerous and irregular contracts concluded on behalf of Joburg Ballet by Mr Badenhorst without proper authorisation, and unauthorised expenditure on a variety of items.
Mr Campbell and the Board today underlined that the work of Joburg Ballet is continuing as planned, with the Board providing every possible support to the Artistic Director, Iain MacDonald, and his team to ensure plans for 2016 roll out smoothly. The Company continues to enjoy the full support of the City of Johannesburg, having just received a third sustainable funding grant from the City.
Joburg Ballet is currently concluding its performance schedule for 2015 and after the holiday season will return to work in January. Booking for the Company’s first major production for 2016, the classical ballet Giselle at the Joburg Theatre in April, is already open to the public.