Monday, June 1, 2020

Desai dumps embattled Choppies boss

By Mpho Keleboge

Desai Law group has abruptly dumped Choppies chief executive officer Ramachandra Ottapathu following some issues with the company Board members relating to delisting and mismanagement of the company.

In a letter dated 28 May 2019, Desai who was initially acting for both the CEO and the company decided to pin down a letter arguing that the recent squabbles relating to Choppies Enterprises Limited (Choppies) and Ram been suspended has led to some form of conflict of interests.

The withdrawal letter states that the recent developments relating to Choppies, ‘’where we are acting for Choppies and your recent suspension as CEO of Choppies has regrettably resulted in a conflict of interest arising and leading us to conclude that we must withdraw from representing you at this time. We urge you to promptly engage other local legal representation to further protect your interests in the transaction and we may recommend an alternative firm to assist you in the transaction, should you require us to, ” said Desai.

Desai said in the absence of Ottapathu request for his file, the firm will retain it as accordance with the firm’s policy arguing that the firm can exercise its discretion based on its policy to destroy it after a certain period.

One of the company’s which was engaged to investigate Ram has recommended for his suspension.

Director of Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa, Mahommed Chavoos, has recommended for his suspension arguing that there are no legal formalities that need to be met in order to suspend him as CEO of Choppies in terms of Botswana Laws, and according to the Botswana Law advice received from Desai of the Desai Law group

‘’No purpose would be served at this stage to seek Ram’s removal as Managing Director in terms of Choppies constitution as he would at this stage effectively remain a director on the Board and would be entitled to sue Choppies for damages arising out of his removal as the Managing Director in terms of Choppies Constitution, ”said Mohammed Chavoos

He advised that Ram may only be removed from the Board as director by means of an ordinary resolution passed by the Shareholders through a majority vote.

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