Reuel Khoza, the chairman of the Nedbank Group, says South Africa has a strange breed of leaders who were determined to undermine the rule of law.

Khoza, who is a former Eskom chairman, and was known to be heavily politically connected to the ANC during president Thabo Mbeki’s reign, came out with guns firing in the Nedbank annual report.

He told shareholders in no uncertain terms that these leaders were determined to undermine the constitution.

“Our political leadership’s moral quotient is degenerating and we are losing the checks and balances that are necessary to prevent a recurrence of the past,” he said.

His remarks followed recent moves from the government to reassess the role of the Constitutional Court and apparent meddling from the presidency in the lifting of the suspension of crime intelligence boss Lieutenant-General Richard Mduli.

Pressed on whether his comments would not be bad for businesses, such as Nedbank, Thulani Sibeko, the group executive for group marketing, communication and corporate affairs at Nedbank said:

“Dr Khoza is passionate about ethical leadership in the public and private sectors.

Banking Association chairman Cas Coovadia welcomed the remarks by Khoza.

“Reuel is recognised by most people in South Africa for his integrity… for being a pragmatic and balanced person. Now the fact that he has said that… is not bad for business. We should have an environment where business (leaders) and other stakeholders make constructive (statements), speak their minds without having to fear any repercussions.”

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