Molopo apologises over comments about board nominee’s ‘out of touch’ views
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The chairman of Molopo Energy has had to apologise after alleging that a proposed new director had expressed views about race which are “not inclusive” and “out of touch”.
Baljit Johal apologised and said comments in the Annual General Meeting notice letter on April 30 about board nominee Roger Corbett weren’t intended to convey that Mr Corbett was racist.
The notice on April 30 alleged that Mr Corbett held views, expressed on ABC TV’s 7.30 Report, to the effect of (to quote the notice), “that black men are not the same as white men” which were out of touch with “modern society’s views” and would make it difficult for the board to work with him.
As such, it did not wish to recommend his nomination.
The notice in fact misquoted Mr Corbett — a former boss of Woolies and ex Fairfax Media chairman.
What Mr Corbett actually said on the 7.30 Report was:
“There is a norm of marriage in our community being between a man and a woman. People deeply believe in that. It’s not discriminatory in any way. It’s a statement that it’s between men and women.
“A man and a man, and a woman and a woman, can have a similar relationship, but it’s different. A black man and a white man are equal, but they’re clearly different. A black man will never be a white man and vice versa.”
Mr Corbett is one of three new nominees who will be standing for election to the board at the AGM next week.
Molopo is struggling to contain the fallout from a deal it went into last year without the ASX’s or shareholders’ approval.
The ASX is referring the company to ASIC over alleged lapses in disclosure around a $47 million “Orient Transaction”.