Black business organizations said criticism levelled at South Africa’s political leaders by Nedbank Group Ltd.’s chairman was “unjustified and untimely,” and could have been raised in a more constructive manner.
Reuel Khoza, who is black and has been chairman of South Africa’s fourth-largest bank since 2006, wrote in its annual report last month that the “moral quotient” of political leaders is “degenerating” and that there is an “emergence of a strange breed of leaders determined to undermine the rule of law and override the Constitution.” His remarks have been criticized by several senior government officials.
“The government, under the leadership of President Zuma, has been very open and amenable to a constructive, yet frank dialogue with all social partners, including organised business,” the Black Business Council said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. “The grave reservations that Nedbank may harbour about how our country is led could have been raised more constructively.”
The council was formed last year to increase the participation of black people in Africa’s largest economy.
Nedbank doesn’t plan to comment further on Khoza’s comments, Thulani Sibeko, a spokesman for the lender, said by telephone on April 13.