Anglo Gold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana has hit back at the Black Business Council’s (BBC) decision to throw its weight behind President Jacob Zuma and rejecting his plea that he step down.
“The BBC is supposed to be an important and rational voice of black business leadership, of which I am a part … I have always believed that, as black business leaders, we are united in our belief that South Africa deserves a leadership that is transparent, accountable and free from corruption.
“These are the values we have always fought for, and will continue to fight for.” Pityana wrote in an opinion editorial published by the Rand Daily Mail on Tuesday.
He has described the council’s reasons to endorse Zuma until his final term in office as an exploitation of transformation and empowerment of black people that “cannot be used as an excuse to defend corruption, poor governance and poor economic leadership”.
“They have advanced a flimsy list of reasons for the endorsement, particularly when seen against his long list of transgressions. They applaud his role in establishing the Ministry of Small Business and the black industrialist programme, as well as his support for the BBC’s breakaway from Business Unity South Africa.
“But we have to weigh these issues against the fact that President Zuma has been found – by no less a body than the Constitutional Court – to have failed to uphold his Oath of Office and allowed the abuse of state resources to his personal gain … in my view, that he is untrustworthy, and without honour, integrity and respect for the law,” he said.
At the weekend, the Sunday Times reported Pityana had petitioned the BBC to support him in his call for Zuma’s removal from office, but the council has described such a move as amounting to a coup.