Mantashe, Nedbank boss bury hatchet
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and Nedbank chairman Reuel Khoza have smoked the peace pipe following a bitter spat by the banking boss over SA's "degenerating" leadership.
This comes almost two weeks after Khoza called on "a strange breed of SA leaders" to adhere to institutions that underpin democracy following ANC's announcement that it planned to review the judiciary, and calls by other political leaders for the Constitution to be reviewed to fast-track economic and social transformation.
In a statement released last night, ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said the meeting was "fruitful" and paved the way for better interaction between Mantashe and Khoza in the future.
"The meeting resolved what was perceived as a stand-off and addressed a variety of issues related to governance and business leadership ..." he said.
In remarks published in the JSE-listed banking group's annual report, Khoza wrote: "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 ...
"SA is widely recognised for its liberal and enlightened Constitution, yet we observe the emergence of a strange breed of leaders who are determined to undermine the rule of law and override the Constitution."
This was followed by back-to-back attacks from cabinet ministers Blade Nzimande, Nathi Mthethwa, cabinet spokesman Jimmy Manyi and Mantashe himself.
At the ANC's televised top officials press conference, Mantashe lashed out at Khoza, and said: "I would be very worried if the business community begins to think that it has a monopoly of understanding political leadership. Reuel Khoza is the chairperson of Nedbank. He was given a task by Old Mutual a few years ago to find a buyer for it.
"Reuel Khoza must sell Nedbank. He has been told to do so by the biggest shareholder ... he has failed to do so, he has tried two deals, they [both] fell through under his watch. What kind of a leader is that who allows deals to fall through under his watch and still criticises political leadership?"
Following his comments, Khoza has found himself under attack, with only a few business leaders coming to his defence.
On Sunday, Business Times reported that while some CEOs criticised the ANC and government for attacking Khoza, few would say whether they agreed with him.