Presidency hits back at ‘attack’ on Zuma by mining execs

Cape Town – The Presidency said it is concerned with the “relentless public attacks” on President Jacob Zuma, after AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:AGL] chairperson Sipho Pityana called for South Africans to urge Zuma to resign.

Pityana labelled Zuma as South Africa’s "sponsor-in-chief of corruption" in a speech at a mining conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Zuma was at best missing in action, at worst at the root of this crisis, said Pityana. He had abrogated his constitutional duties and was facing hundreds of corruption charges. Those closest to him appeared to be beneficiaries of the disaster in governance, Pityana said.

"If the ANC keeps Zuma, then they endorse what he represents. They will endorse the fact that he lacks integrity," he said.

READ: Zuma is 'sponsor-in-chief of corruption' - Pityana

READ: Business leaders must urge Zuma to go - Pityana

READ: Business leaders must urge Zuma to go - Pityana

On Thursday, the Presidency responded, saying it is concerned with attacks on Zuma by leaders in the gold mining sector – “from two companies, Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGL] and AngloGold Ashanti”.

Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman told Bloomberg in September that Zuma “has to go.”

“Any solid investor, any solid company is founded on good governance and what we have in South Africa at the moment is very poor governance, from a government point of view,”  he said.

“There’s no doubt there’s incompetence,” Froneman told Bloomberg. “There’s corruption. And all of those things have to change.”

FULL STORY: Zuma ‘has to go’, says Sibanye CEO

The Presidency said on Thursday that the business sector has many “avenues to raise whatever concerns and issues it has with government and/or its leadership”.

“President Zuma values open dialogue and interaction with all sectors in our society. However, such dialogue is more helpful if it takes place within the bounds of human decency and decorum and upholds respect for key institutions and in our country.

“Channels of communication between business and government are open and engagements take place continuously in a healthy and constructive manner.

“Currently a business, government and labour delegation is in New York to promote the country as an investment destination,” it said.

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