Revealed: Captains of industry who back Gordhan in war against #Zupta – 81 and counting

In a sign that widespread corruption and state capture have reached breaking point for many business players, more than 80 captains of industry have put their names to a list pledging support for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. The minister is facing prosecution on spurious charges as it becomes clear that he is standing in the way of President Jacob Zuma’s friends gaining access to state assets. Business players are notoriously loath to make political statements, choosing instead to get on with maximising profits and growing revenue. However, the rule of law is clearly disintegrating as a clique takes control of state organs, for example the National Prosecuting Authority. This move by the CEO Initiative is a clear sign that many of the country’s top business players no longer think it is in the best interests of their operations to remain silent about rampant corruption that is damaging the economy and threatening to reduce the country’s status to junk. This list of business movers-and-shakers comes from across sectors and cuts across racial and political divides – and includes Telkom’s CEO, Sipho Maseko. Telkom’s major shareholder is the South African government. Alongside Anglo American’s Mark Cutifani, Capitec Bank’s Gerrie Fourie and Investec Bank’s Stephen Koseff are the Black Business Council’s Mohale Ralebitso, MTN SA’s Phuthuma Nhleko and Safika Holdings’ Moss Ngoasheng, a former political prisoner with Nelson Mandela. As the tide turns against Zuma, questions will increasingly be asked about the business leaders who are conspicuously absent from this list, first published at Fin24. – Jackie Cameron

From Fin24

Cape Town – In a dramatic move of support for Pravin Gordhan, 81 CEOs pledged support for the finance minister days before he presents his mini budget and a week before he appears in court on fraud charges.

Pravin Gordhan. Cartoon courtesy of Twitter @TheStar_news
Cartoon courtesy of Twitter

“We stand as one for the rule of law and against the decision to prosecute the Minister of Finance on charges that are, according to the preponderance of expert legal opinion, without factual or legal foundation and not in the public interest,” the CEOs, who form part of the CEO Initiative, said in a press statement.

The initiative was formed after former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was fired in December 2015 and has worked with labour and government to find unity with business going forward.

“We stand against the damage this has caused to our economy and to the people of South Africa, especially the poor.”

The 81 CEOs who signed the pledge were:

1. Altron: No name provided
2. Anglo American: Mark Cutifani
3. AngloGold Ashanti Limited: Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan
4. Asisa: Leon Campher
5. Aspasa & Sarma: Nico Pienaar
6. Aveng: Kobus Verster
7. Bain & Company: Vittorio Massone
8. Barclays Africa: Maria Ramos
9. Bid Corporation: Brian Joffe
10. Blue Label Telecoms: Mark Levy
11. Business Unity South Africa: Khanyisile Kweyama
12. Business Leadership South Africa: Thero Setiloane (on behalf of member companies)
13. Black Business Council: Mohale Ralebitso
14. Bowman Gilfillan: Robert Legh (chairperson)
15. Capitec Bank: Gerrie Fourie
16. CEO Initiative: Jabu Mabuza (convenor)
17. Chamber of Mines: Roger Baxter
18. Credit Suisse South Africa: Rick Menell (chairperson)
19. Dimension Data Middle East & Africa: Grant Bodley
20. Discovery Limited: Adrian Gore
21. Distell Limited: Richard Rushton
22. ENSafrica: Michael Katz (chairperson)
23. Exxaro Resources Limited: Mxolisi Mgojo
24. FirstRand Bank: Johan Burger
25. Goldman Sachs: Colin Coleman
26. Growthpoint Properties Ltd: Norbert Sasse
27. Hollard Group: Nic Kohler
28. Imperial Holdings: Mark Lamberti
29. Independent: Michael Spicer
30. Investec Bank Limited & Investec: Stephen Koseff
31. Johannesburg Stock Exchange: Nicky Newton-King
32. Kagiso Tiso Holdings: Vuyisa Nkonyeni
33. KPMG Southern Africa: Trevor Hoole
34. Liberty Holdings Group: Thabo Dloti
35. Life Healthcare: André Meyer
36. Lion Pride Investment Holdings Ltd: Geoff Rothschild
37. Mediclinic SA: Danie Meintjes
38. Menston Holdings (Pty) Ltd: Stanley Subramoney
39. MMI Holdings: Nicolaas Kruger
40. Mondi Group: David Hathorn
41. Mr Price Group Ltd: Stuart Bird
42. MTN SA: Phuthuma Nhleko (chairperson) and Mteto Nyati (CEO)
43. Murray & Roberts Holdings Limited: Henry Laas
44. Nampak Ltd: André de Ruyter
45. Nando’s: Geoff Whyte
46. Naspers: Bob van Dijk
47. Nedbank Group: Vassi Naidoo (chairperson)
48. Nedbank Group: Mike Brown
49. Netcare: Richard Friedland
50. Northam Platinum: Paul Dunne
51. Old Mutual: Bruce Hemphill: Dave Macready and Ralph Mupita
52. PG Group: Charles Bromley
53. Pick n Pay Stores: Gareth Ackerman (chairperson)
54. Pioneer Foods Group Ltd: Phil Roux
55. Primedia: Roger Jardine
56. RCL Foods: Miles Dally
57. Remgro Finance Corporation: Jannie Durand
58. Reunert: Alan Dickson
59. Richards Bay Minerals: Mpho Mothoa
60. RMB Holdings and RMI Holdings: Herman Bosman
61. Rothschild: Martin Kingston
62. Safika Holdings: Moss Ngoasheng
63. Sanlam: Ian Kirk
64. Sappi Limited: Steve Binnie
65. Sasol Limited: Bongani Nqwababa & Stephen Cornell
66. SEIFSA: Kaizer Nyatsumba
67. Shell Downstream South Africa: Bonang Mohale
68. Sibanye Gold: Neal Froneman
69. South32 Limited: Michael Fraser
70. Spar: Graham O’Connor
71. Standard Bank Group Ltd: Ben Kruger & Sim Tshabalala
72. Sun International: Graeme Stephens
73. T-Systems South Africa: Gert Schoonbee
74. Telkom SA Limited: Sipho Maseko
75. TFG: Doug Murray
76. The Banking Association South Africa: Cas Coovadia
77. Tower Property Fund Ltd: Marc Edwards
78. Twinsaver Group: Garth Towell
79. Webber Wentzel: Christo Els (Senior partner)
80. Woolworths Group SA: Simon Susman
81. Woolworths Holdings (Australia): Ian Moir

Source: Fin24

CEO Initiative Pledge

We, the CEOs and business leaders named below, join the Government/Business/Labour initiative, and commit to:

Do the right thing; stand by what is right; and reject what is wrong.

We stand for:

  • Our Constitution and Bill of Rights, which guarantee the independence of our courts and  the impartiality of our prosecuting authority, and which create the institutions strengthening constitutional democracy in our country, such as the Office of the Public Protector
  • Good Governance, by which we mean transparent, rational and evidence-based policymaking in the national interest; diligent and honest delivery of public goods and services; and a private sector that holds itself – and is held – to the highest standards of corporate citizenship, corporate governance and ethics
  • A vibrant democracy, including the rights to freedom of expression and to protest peacefully under the equal protection of the law
  • Fast and inclusive economic growth and job creation enabled by a stable and predictable regulatory framework for business
  • Social justice and transformation so that South Africa truly becomes a country that belongs to all who live in it
  • Procedural and substantive justice for all
  • Inclusive growth and a prosperous South Africa for all.

We stand against:

  • Injustice, including failures to investigate and prosecute prima facie wrongdoing and any selective, malicious or politically motivated prosecutions that cannot satisfy the public interest test
  • Corruption, graft and waste in both private and public sectors
  • Threats of violence and violent protest
  • The damage to growth, job creation and transformation caused by policy uncertainty and by self-seeking behaviour in both the private and public sectors
  • Persistent unfairness and inequity in the economy

Since the National Prosecuting Authority announced its charges against the Minister of Finance in the public arena, we consider it our right and duty to respond in public.

We stand as one for the rule of law and against the decision to prosecute the Minister of Finance on charges that are, according to the preponderance of expert legal opinion, without factual or legal foundation and not in the public interest.

We stand against the damage this has caused to our economy and to the people of South Africa, ESPECIALLY the poor.



Anglo American, Mark Cutifani

AngloGold Ashanti Limited, Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan

Asisa, Leon Campher

Aspasa & Sarma, Nico Pienaar

Aveng, Kobus Verster

Bain & Company Inc, Vittorio Massone

Barclays Africa, Maria Ramos

Bid Corporation Ltd, Brian Joffe

Blue Label Telecoms, Mark Levy

Business Unity South Africa, Khanyisile Kweyama

Business Leadership South Africa, Thero Setiloane (on behalf of member companies)

Black Business Council, Mohale Ralebitso

Bowman Gilfillan, Robert Legh (Chairman)

Capitec Bank, Gerrie Fourie

CEO Initiative, Jabu Mabuza (Convenor)

Chamber of Mines, Roger Baxter

Credit Suisse South Africa, Rick Menell (Chairman)

Dimension Data Middle East & Africa, Grant Bodley

Discovery Limited, Adrian Gore

Distell Limited, Richard Rushton

ENSafrica, Michael Katz (Chairman)

Exxaro Resources Limited, Mxolisi Mgojo

FirstRand Bank Ltd, Johan Burger

Goldman Sachs, Colin Coleman

Growthpoint Properties Ltd, Norbert Sasse

Hollard Group, Nic Kohler

Imperial Holdings Ltd, Mark Lamberti

Independent, Michael Spicer

Investec Bank Limited & Investec plc, Stephen Koseff

Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Nicky Newton-King

Kagiso Tiso Holdings, Vuyisa Nkonyeni

KPMG Southern Africa, Trevor Hoole

Liberty Holdings Group, Thabo Dloti

Life Healthcare, André Meyer

Lion Pride Investment Holdings Ltd, Geoff Rothschild

Mediclinic SA, Danie Meintjes

Menston Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Stanley Subramoney

MMI Holdings Limited, Nicolaas Kruger

Mondi Group, David Hathorn

Mr Price Group Ltd, Stuart Bird

MTN SA  – Phuthuma Nhleko (Chairman) and Mteto Nyati (CEO)

Murray & Roberts Holdings Limited, Henry Laas

Nampak Ltd, André de Ruyter

Nando’s, Geoff Whyte

Naspers, Bob van Dijk

Nedbank Group, Vassi Naidoo (Chairman)

Nedbank Group, Mike Brown

Netcare, Richard Friedland

Northam Platinum, Paul Dunne

Old Mutual, Bruce Hemphill, Dave Macready and Ralph Mupita

PG Group, Charles Bromley

Pick n Pay Stores Ltd, Gareth Ackerman (Chairman)

Pioneer Foods Group Ltd, Phil Roux

Primedia Limited, Roger Jardine

RCL Foods Limited, Miles Dally

Remgro Finance Corporation Ltd, Jannie Durand

Reunert Ltd, Alan Dickson

Richards Bay Minerals, Mpho Mothoa

RMB Holdings and RMI Holdings, Herman Bosman

Rothschild, Martin Kingston

Safika Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Moss Ngoasheng

Sanlam, Ian Kirk

Sappi Limited, Steve Binnie

Sasol Limited, Bongani Nqwababa & Stephen Cornell

SEIFSA, Kaizer Nyatsumba

Shell Downstream South Africa, Bonang Mohale

Sibanye Gold, Neal Froneman

South32 Limited, Michael Fraser

Spar, Graham O’Connor

Standard Bank Group Ltd, Ben Kruger & Sim Tshabalala

Sun International, Graeme Stephens

T-Systems South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Gert Schoonbee

Telkom SA Limited, Sipho Maseko

TFG Ltd, Doug Murray

The Banking Association South Africa, Cas Coovadia

Tower Property Fund Ltd, Marc Edwards

Twinsaver Group, Garth Towell

Webber Wentzel, Christo Els (Senior partner)

Woolworths Group SA, Simon Susman

Woolworths Holdings Ltd (Australia), Ian Moir

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