There is massive maladministration in South Africa because of unethical leadership, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Tuesday.
"Without an ethical society we cannot expect ethical leadership in government," Madonsela told delegates at the Tomorrow's Leaders Convention in Johannesburg.
"The biggest challenge is leading yourself successfully."
Madonsela said one of the other challenges leaders faced was the abuse of power. There was a problem of unethical leadership within the public and private sector.
Madonsela used examples such as state tender procedures and the allegations of corruption within the auction industry. Ethical leadership was needed, especially in Africa.
"We need leaders to step up and think out of the box... We need leaders with new ideas," she said.