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Pityana wants Khoza to lead

Jul 16 2017 06:00
Lesetja Malope

Johannesburg - Save SA leader and AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana has publicly endorsed ANC MP Makhosi Khoza to be the country’s next president.

In addition, he has distanced himself from the Black Business Council (BBC) because of its tainted leader.

Addressing a Gordon Institute of Business Science event in Johannesburg this week, Pityana said he was an advocate of women empowerment and was in favour of a woman president for the country, but not the one currently contending.

“I support the position that it’s time to have a woman president. I am a big champion of gender equality,” he said.

“But my candidate is somebody else. My candidate is a young, woman parliamentarian,” he said, before mentioning Khoza as his favourite because she was, in his view, brave and prepared to risk her livelihood and life to preserve the values of the party that she joined.

Khoza is the only MP who openly defied the governing party’s directive by saying she would vote with her conscience, rather than along party lines – a move that led to her receiving a number of threats.

During the event, Pityana, who was part of a panel that included Nedbank CEO Mike Brown and former finance minister Trevor Manuel, did not hold back on his views about President Jacob Zuma and his administration.

Pityana also didn’t spare the BBC leadership and said black business in the country did not have a homogenous entity.

“I have discomfort, for instance, with being associated with the BBC, which is led by someone I know who has no ethics and no moral standing. I get sick to the stomach,” he said.

The president of the BBC is Danisa Baloyi.

Pityana, who is also chairperson of AngloGold Ashanti, which recently announced the retrenchment of 8 500 employees at two of its mines, said the voice of business was important.

“I am a business person, I occupy this space, I have no apartheid baggage and I refuse to lose my voice because of a role that business may have played in apartheid.

“As a corporate citizen in this country, I will insist on my right to say that, even though I am committed to the transformation of the mining industry, I do not believe what the minister of mineral resources is proposing a desirable [plan] for this country and for the mining industry.

“Don’t question my credentials and say, ‘you are a business person, so I expect you to say so’ – tell me why I am wrong,” he said.

Baloyi, who was previously entangled in the scandalous Fidentia saga, declined to comment.

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