Black Business Council (BBC) hits back at Sipho Pityana for describing the group as “crony capitalists”
BBC flared on Tuesday, against comments by a prominent ANC and business figure Sipho Pityana who attacked them for endorsing President Jacob Zuma despite growing calls for his resignation.
The ANC veteran claimed to have lost respect for BBC for encouraging Zuma to stay longer in office against the people’s wish
According to him, Zuma has lost his right to the seat of presidency and its surprising how a black business organization such as BBC would urge him to stay longer.
“I’m very surprised because the statement is very emphatic, it doesn’t say we disagree with things. It says ‘we urge you to stay on’, which means please Mr President give us some more of your disastrous leadership.”
“They have advanced a flimsy list of reasons, particularly when seen against his … transgressions. They applaud the Ministry of Small Business and the black industrialist programme … but we have to weigh these issues against the fact that President Zuma has been found to have failed to uphold his oath of office and allowed the abuse of state resources to his personal gain. That finding by the highest court in our country, means, in my view, that he is untrustworthy, and without honour, integrity and respect for the law,” he wrote.
He also said he was convince that through BBC’s decision to back Zuma, the organization is indifferent to the pain that citizens go through, provided their own interests are met.
“This would be the most crass and disturbingly vulgar form of crony capitalism. If this is what the BBC represents, then I’m only too pleased to disassociate myself from it. I have no doubt that many black business people and professionals share my view,” he said.
Addressing this, BBC’s Mohale Ralebitso attacked Pityana accusing him of distorting the facts.
Ralebitso maintained the council’s stance that Zuma finish his term, as he was elected democratically. He also condemned Pityana initiative for lobbying business organizations to take a public position on the removal of the president.
Ralebitso also said the matter the organization raised to before the president were of concern to all of black business and to the country and that Pityana was destroying the unity of the black business who needed to work together.
“We feel the issues that we went to see the president about were important. We can either develop a fixation with the president’s person or we can get on and do what needs to be done, noting that he is still head of state,” he said, adding that the council had presented a list of issues to Zuma as part of a planned engagement.
“The BBC wants to see a stable ANC that is able to provide decisive leadership and geared towards service delivery and stable state machinery that is not at war with itself.” Ralebitso said this as he categorically pointed out that the council believed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan should be left to do his job, unless there was a proper process that necessitated his removal.