FORMER Imperial Holdings Mark Lambert has resigned following a court ruling which found him liable for racist and sexist remarks against former employee Adila Chowan.
Commercial media tried to spin this atrocious behaviour, defending him by saying the court had not find against him on the discrimination charge.
- The North Gauteng High Court found Mark Lamberti guilty of impairing the dignity of former employee, Adila Chowan after calling her “a female, employment equity,” when she challenged being overlooked twice for a post she had been promised and for which she was qualified. “‘I had built my career. I had been a CFO. I had acted as a CEO. All those achievements was (sic) not being recognised, apart from the fact that I am now being objectified in terms of being a female empowerment equity candidate”, Chowan testified in court.
- The court found Lamberti had discriminated against qualified chartered accountant Chowan on the basis of race and gender. Judge Meyer ordered Associated Motor Holdings (a subsidiary of Imperial Holdings), Imperial Holdings and Lamberti to pay damages for the impairment of her dignity.
- Lamberti had lied to Chowan, promising her a promotion in a year’s time but later reneged saying she still needed 3 or more years to develop her leadership skills
- Chowan was overlooked for the chief financial officer job twice and when she complained Lamberti told her she was ‘a female, employment equity, technically competent, they would like to keep her but if she wants to go she must go, others have left this management and done better outside the company, and that she required three to four years to develop her leadership skills’
- When she took offence to the utterances by Lamberti and informed the human resources manager at AMH, Otto Koornhof, of her intention to lodge a grievance against the ceo with the chairman of the Imperial Group, Thulani Gcabashe, Koornhof warned her ‘that it would be a career limiting move if [she] raised a grievance against a powerful man like Mr Mark Lamberti’
- Lamberti, from the testimony by a representative from the law firm investigating Chowan’s complaint, was directly involved in how Chowan would be dealt with in as far as her suspension was concerned
- In the two and a half years preceding mid-2015, there had been fourteen executives appointed by AMH of whom eight were appointed since Mr Lamberti’s appointment as CEO. Except for one Indian male, they were all white males.