Loss of pioneering father figure of black business

Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

Businessman Humphrey Khoza, who was killed in a car accident in Alberton, south of Johannesburg, last Friday, will always be remembered as the pioneering head of the national lottery.

Khoza, the former chief executive of Uthingo, the company that ran the country's first national lottery, possessed high business acumen and integrity.

Oupa Monamodi, Uthingo chief executive, said his company would always remember Khoza as a great man and a fine leader for the role he played in helping to establish the national lottery.

"We at Uthingo feel privileged to have enjoyed his management expertise and guidance," Monamodi said.

Paul Nkuna of the Mine Workers Investment Company and board chairman at Primedia, where Khoza chaired the company's transformation committee, described him as "a father figure who was full of wisdom".

"You would pick up wisdom each time you were with him," Nkuna said.

Born in Dukathole township, near Germiston, Khoza matriculated in 1968 and registered for a BSc degree. But he dropped out of university when the Germiston city council withdrew his bursary.

Khoza appeared to be dogged by misfortune when his first job with the Barlow group was withdrawn because the then department of native affairs refused him permission to work in Johannesburg.

But he got a job as a clerk at a sister company in Germiston. Four years later Khoza joined Colgate-Palmolive. He later worked for Shell for 14 years as director of corporate services and then for 11 years at Nestle as director of human resources.

While at Shell, Khoza was seconded to the Independent Electoral Commission as director of communications.

He served as the first black president of the South African Chamber of Business for two terms and was deputy president of the Black Management Forum between 1992 and 1993.

Khoza was chairman of the empowerment health products company Lengana Investment, and was also chairman of Mpande holdings, an empowerment company operating in the financial services industry.

As the head of Mpande Holdings, Khoza concluded a 25,1percent deal with Coris Capital, bringing a wealth of business experience and expertise to Coris.

The transaction, according to Coris Capital chief executive Johan Potgieter, enhanced Coris Capital's ability to become a preferred service provider in the South African market.

Khoza was also the chief executive of Orion Technologies Nigeria, the licensed operator of the Lagos state lotteries.

Khoza is survived by his wife and two children and will be buried tomorrow at the South Park Cemetery in Elspark, Ekuhurleni. The service will be held at the Thokoza Auditorium at 9am. The cortege will depart for the cemetery at 12.30pm.