Johannesburg - Nedbank Group [JSE:NED] chairperson Reuel Khoza appeared
unperturbed on Tuesday 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 after Manyi accused him of
"disingeneousness" for suggesting that South Africa's political
leaders were not up to the complexity of 21st century governance and
"In a participatory democracy, debate and discussion on
substantive issues heighten awareness of the many needs we have to address in
the socioeconomic, 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"
He said comments Khoza had made which accompanied the bank's
annual results showed "disingenuousness, and that his books aren't exactly
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.