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Manoeuvring increases ahead of vote for BBC president

Aug 05 2018 06:18
Lesetja Malope

The Black Business Council (BBC) will head into a crucial conference this week where it will elect a new leadership that will be expected to drag the organisation out of crisis and restore its battered reputation.

Last year, the BBC was hit by revelations that then president Danisa Baloyi “hid” a R5.7m donation from Airports Company SA.

Baloyi was suspended in December and two warring factions subsequently emerged.

This week saw the BBC’s attempt to reconcile the slates of two prospective leaders fail.

The candidates in the running for BBC president are Sandile Zungu and Thandi Ndlovu.

At one point, Zungu withdrew from the presidential race, but re-entered the contest within 48 hours. Meanwhile, Ndlovu declined to settle for anything less than a presidential nomination.

The BBC will hold its elective conference on Tuesday.

Numerous meetings with lobbyists failed to convince either Ndlovu or Zungu to opt for the position of chairperson.

Scores of meetings were held and prominent businesspeople, including former Exxaro boss Sipho Nkosi and business tycoon Robert Gumede, were approached to join the presidential race.

Nkosi confirmed that he was asked to throw his hat into the ring for the position. Attempts to get comment from Gumede were fruitless, however, according to a reliable source, Gumede refused to join the fight and instead threw his weight behind either Zungu or Ndlovu, both of whom have confirmed their candidacy for the top post.

According to numerous sources within the BBC, who spoke to City Press on condition of anonymity, Zungu enjoys the backing of a number of tycoons who have pledged millions to bail the organisation out of its poor financial state.

The organisation has previously failed to pay salaries on time and earlier this year owed money to the SA Revenue Service.

However, the stalwart wing of the organisation has made it clear that Ndlovu is the preferred presidential pick, and she also reportedly enjoys significant support among prominent businesswomen.

Ndlovu confirmed that she had been officially approached a week ago and agreed to stand as a candidate to replace Baloyi.

“I can confirm that I have accepted the nomination. I have decided that I am going to come out of my semiretirement boat to try to see how we can fix black business because it’s a very important layer in the transformation of our economy,” she said.

Ndlovu also confirmed that she had approached a number of reputable businesswomen to contest for positions as national office bearers.

“I have motivated for some proven businesswomen to raise their hands to rebuild this organisation,” she said.

According to one of the earlier slates issued by the corporate chapter of the organisation, which City Press has seen, Ndlovu was tipped for the chairperson position and was the only woman on the list.

On the slate, Zungu was tipped to be president, Dumisani Mpafa as vice-president for professionals, Keith Thabo as vice-president for organised business, Gregory Mofokeng for secretary, Bonolo Ramokhele for treasurer and Tilson Manyoni for head of policy position.

Mpafa declined to comment on his candidacy.


Manyoni pleaded ignorance about the matter and said he was in the dark about the nomination, while attempts to get comment from Mofokeng and Ramokhele were fruitless.

Another candidate who is said to have availed himself, although he did not confirm this, is Gilbert Mosena, the BBC’s current acting president and a member of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc).

However, according to an insider privy to the nomination process, Nafcoc is also divided, as some back Mosena for the position of chairperson, and others want Churchill Mrasi to take up the post.

Mrasi, who is part of the nominations screening committee, confirmed that he was approached, but said he was in the dark about an official nomination, while Mosena, although he said he knew his name was being mentioned on a certain slate, said he had not been formally approached.

A surprise nomination was former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas – though he is not a member of the organisation – while Meta Mhlari, the co-founder and executive director of Mahlako A Phahla Investments, was also lobbied.

Attempts to get comment from either were unsuccessful.

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bbc  |  sandile zungu  |  danisa baloyi  |  sa economy


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