S. Africa Won’t Dictate to Anglo Over CEO Choice: Zuma

South Africa’s government won’t pressure Anglo American Plc (AAL), the biggest private employer in the country, over its choice of chief executive officer, President Jacob Zuma said, contradicting his mines minister.

Anglo, which helped develop South Africa’s mining-reliant economy during almost 50 years of apartheid, on Oct. 26 said its American CEO Cynthia Carroll is resigning and will leave once her replacement is found.

Susan Shabangu, the minister, said in a statement she hoped Carroll’s replacement would be “a local person that will continue to contribute to transformation of our industry and who will have our interest as a country at heart.” The country’s Public Investment Corp. and the Government Employees Pension Fund, together the biggest Anglo shareholder, said Oct. 26 the London-based company’s board needed to be more reflective of where its assets are. South Africa accounted for 49 percent of Anglo’s 2011 sales, according to its website.

“We are not going to dictate how companies choose their people,” Zuma told foreign journalists in Johannesburg today.

Anglo controls Johannesburg-based Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS), the world’s biggest producer of the metal, and Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. (KIO), Africa’s largest iron ore producer. The company also owns coal and diamond mines in the country.

To contact the reporter on this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Riad Hamade at rhamade@bloomberg.net

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