Statement creates tension among Busa members

2010-05-14 14:26

The statement by the Black Management Forum (BMF) criticising the

election of new Business Unity SA (Busa) president Futhi Mthoba earlier this

week has “created tension” among the latter organisation’s members.

Busa’s CEO Jerry Vilikazi said today that his organisation’s first

response to the statement – in which the BMF said Mthoba’s election was a blow

to transformation – was one of “shock and surprise”.

The BMF’s statement – issued on Tuesday evening – said Mthoba’s

election was a victory only for “the interests of established business”.

Vilikazi said he immediately sought clarification from the BMF: “We

met with their deputy president Tembakazi Mnyaka to get an understanding of what

the issue was, because we thought that proceedings at the election had been

transparent and very fair to both Mthoba and Sandile Zungu [the other


Vilikazi said the BMF had raised no objection to Mthoba standing as

a candidate: “We first heard about this in the media.”

Vilikazi said Mnyaka had explained that the BMF was not attacking

Mthoba personally. “I, however, did indicate that the way it came across looked

like it had been a personal attack.

“Mnyaka told me that the BMF did not want to see someone in the

role of Busa president who was employed by white business,” Vilakazi said.

Mtoba is partner and deputy chairperson of Deloitte Southern


Vilikazi said the BMF would have preferred the new Busa president

to have been a black entrepreneur or to have come from black business.

“I told the BMF that this should have been raised before the

election took place if they felt so strongly about it... I told them this could

have been debated before the election,” Vilakazi said.

When told that the BMF had issued another statement today claiming

that it had now given its “full and unwavering support” to Mtoba, he said

although he had not yet seen the statement, the news of it made him breathe “a

sigh of relief”.

Vilakazi said the BMF was “very worried when they issued that first


Vilikazi said that a meeting of the office-bearers of Busa on the

issue would still go ahead.

“The matter created a lot of tension among our members and we

received calls that we needed to intervene so I will convene the meeting and we

will look at the BMF’s first statement and its second statement and then we will

discuss how to proceed,” he said.


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