AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana says the country is suffering hardship because it has a president who lost his integrity and honor to corruption.
The business chief who was responding to Business Unity SA’s concern over the pitiable conditions of the country under President Jacob Zuma, said South Africa is facing a crisis fuelled by patronage, corruption, mismanagement, unchecked power and widespread apathy because the president himself is the “sponsor-in-chief of corruption”.
Calling on businesses to stand up and speak out against government corruption and ongoing state capture and demand clean and accountable governance, Pityana said at the Mining Indaba in Johannesburg, that Zuma has to be shown the way out in order for the country to regain itself.
Pityana reiterated his call for President Jacob Zuma to go saying the “elephant in the room is a president who lacks integrity and lacks honor”, hence, none of the promises he makes to any segment of society can be held on to.
Sipho Pityana was formerly the Foreign Affairs director-general and AngloGold Ashanti chairperson.
Speaking further on the need to revive the country, Pityana said citizens and businesses have to join hands together to “save South Africa”
He pointed out the vital role business communities play in saving South Africa from the dreaded claws of corruption but exclaimed that much time is being wasted.
“Business is present in every home in one way or another, yet it is a missing voice in meaningful social discourse on the most important issue of the day.”
Like Pityana and the Business Unity SA, the CEOs of FirstRand, Sibanye Gold and De Beers voiced its concern over the welfare of the country.
“We’ve also seen churches voice their concern at our leadership and the state of our nation. Civil society is speaking out, with a growing chorus, including NGOs, students, and academics.
“We have seen more urgency from opposition political parties and there is a growing clamour on social media saying one thing, which I agree with: ‘Zuma must go’.”
Pityana said corruption was spreading fast like a virus and that National Treasury had identified almost R26bn in irregular expenditure across all government departments, and there were no consequences.
Even within the AN-led alliance, there was restlessness with the SACP, some Cosatu unions, ANC branches and new lobby groups such as #OccupyLuth, he said.
“The stakes for those inside the alliance are impossibly high — yet they have found the courage to challenge their peers,
“If we each continue to keep our heads down, protecting our own, narrow self-interest, the business environment we are so desperately trying to protect with our silence will simply become unmanageable. “We can agree and must agree, that … the government is incapable of genuine reform,” Sipho Pityana added.
He warned the ruling party to put more effort to heed people’s call for Zuma’s removal, adding that if it keeps Zuma, then they endorse what he represents. They will endorse the fact that he lacks integrity.