Khoza responds to Manyi missive

2012-04-10 10:55

Nedbank chairperson Reuel Khoza appeared unperturbed by attacks on him by government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi, saying debate heightened awareness of society’s needs.

“We live in a wonderful country with a vibrant democracy,” said Khoza today after Manyi accused him of “disingenuousness” for suggesting that South Africa’s political leaders were not up to the complexity of 21st century governance and leadership.

“In a participatory democracy, debate and discussion on substantive issues heighten awareness of the many needs we have to address in the socio-economic, business and political spheres, which are vital for society as a whole,” said Khoza in a statement.

“I firmly believe that leadership in the public and private sectors working constructively together can make a positive contribution. Part of my life’s mission as a citizen and a business leader is, in a small way, to contribute to the upliftment of South Africa and help achieve a better life for all.”

Earlier, Manyi hit out at Khoza for his “attack” on government.

He said comments Khoza had made which accompanied the bank’s annual results showed “disingenuousness, and that his books aren’t exactly balanced”.

In the report, released last month, Khoza said the country’s “strange breed” of leadership needed to adhere to the institutions that underpinned 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,” Khoza wrote.

In response, Manyi wrote: “It would help if Dr Khoza were to expand on his allegations and tell us exactly which checks and balances are being lost ‘fast’ and which recurrence of the past – and which past – he fears so much.”

Manyi also questioned Khoza’s negativity considering the annual results document pack had an overview reflecting a significantly more positive, or at least expectant, disposition among management.

“Given Dr Khoza’s putative concern about the state of levels of public accountability, it is only fair to ask to what extent his statement reflects the views of the illustrious and diverse board which now includes eminent champions of transformation...

“... or is he out on a lone frolic,” said Manyi.

Manyi’s missive follows similar responses from African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa last week.

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