When institutions are strong, the president doesn't matter - BLSA

Cape Town – It is immaterial who South Africa’s president is when a country has strong, vibrant and thriving institutions, said Bonang Mohale, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) on Thursday.

Speaking to Fin24 on the sidelines of a launch event in Cape Town where BLSA signed a “contract” with South Africa pledging to do more to create jobs, growth and transform the economy, Mohale said the organisation does not have a “preferred candidate” for the ANC’s leadership conference at the end of the year.

“BLSA does not have a favourite candidate. Not at all. In fact, it’s irrelevant to business. When our institutions are working, the candidate is immaterial.

WATCH: BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale speaks to Fin24

The ANC will hold its 54th national conference from December 16 to 20 in Gauteng where a new leadership structure and national executive structure will be elected.

The frontrunners in the presidential race are newly sworn in ANC member of Parliament and former African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Lindiwe Sisulu, Home Affairs Minister, Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency, Zweli Mkhize, ANC National Treasurer, and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete have also put their names forward. 

Mohale told Fin24 the only thing standing between the protection of key SA institutions and "anarchy" was the Constitution.

“It’s the best in the world.”

BLSA is, however, concerned that the organs of accountability have been captured.

“We also accept that our policing as part of the criminal justice system has been captured. Our prosecutorial services have been captured.

“Therefore well done to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. He’s the only voice of sanity in that criminal justice system, where he’s demonstrating by deeds and not just words that the judiciary is truly independent,” he said. 

Mohale repeated his earlier utterances that the single biggest threat to South Africa's 23-year old democracy was "state capture by this immigrant Indian family the Guptas for the benefit of another family – the Zumas". 

Earlier when addressing business leaders, labour and civil society, Mohale did not mince his words and referred to Zuma as a "thief". The group also announced on Thursday it was kicking out Eskom and Transnet, although Transnet later said it's membership had already lapsed.

Mohale added that BLSA wanted to make sure the "snake's head is chopped off". 

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