Nedbank’s Khoza lashed from all sides over leadership comments

Two senior ANC members lashed out at Nedbank chairperson Reuel Khoza in media reports on Friday for his comments about a lack of leadership in South Africa.

“Bad mouthing the country affects its competitiveness globally and this can best be defined as economic suicide of the worst sort,” ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe wrote in the New Age newspaper.

“As the ANC, we may have views about business leadership, some of these views may be positive or negative, we will never use any platform to castigate them publicly.”

Khoza, writing in Nedbank’s latest annual report last month, said South African’s “strange breed” of leadership needed to adhere to the institutions that underpinned democracy.

The political climate was not a picture of an accountable democracy.

“Our political leadership’s moral quotient is degenerating and we are fast losing the checks and balances that are necessary to prevent a recurrence of the past,” he wrote.

“We have a duty to build and develop this nation and to call to book the putative leaders who, due to sheer incapacity, cannot deal with the complexity of 21st century governance and leadership, cannot lead.”

Wrong profession
Mantashe said any business leader who behaved like an analyst was in the wrong profession.

“Any view expressed in the Nedbank annual report is based, at best, on the sympathy one has with those who throw stones at the ANC.”

He said companies that were serious about the country’s future had met the ANC “irrespective of what they think of the leadership”.

Also writing in the New Age, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said Khoza’s comments were built on the “media-backed liberal offensive” to discredit the ANC’s leadership, targeting particularly President Jacob Zuma.

He said the offensive was aimed at discrediting Zuma ahead of the party’s elective conference in Mangaung. — Sapa

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