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Gloves come off as Manuel lashes 'corrupt' Zuma

Gloves come off as Manuel lashes 'corrupt' Zuma

The gloves have properly come off, as former finance minister Trevor Manuel lashes the president of the country and government over failure to deal with corruption.

Manuel, speaking at the GIBS Ethics and Governance Think Tank in Sandton on Tuesday, said that government has been unable to deal with corruption because competent leadership has "been replaced by incompetence".

He also called President Jacob Zuma corrupt and not capable of governing the country.

"You look around the world today and it seems to be okay for people to get away with what they can get away with. Start with our own president - he is corrupt and has demonstrated himself incapable of leading this nation," Manuel said.

He also said that corruption needed harsher treatment as it was a violation of law and not just an ethical misdemeanor.

"Other ministers don't do their jobs because it doesn't matter anymore. Because it doesn't matter at the highest level of government, it is possible for business to get away with what they can... It is not possible for government leaders to deal with the issue [corruption] partly because they replaced competent people in administration with incompetence," he said.

Manuel also aimed a few jabs at public relations firm Bell Pottinger, questioning their claim that they were unaware of what was going on.

"Somebody must explain to me how they [Bell Pottinger] can claim they didn't know. When your core business is communication, you don't read the newspapers, you don't read social media? We have a duty right now to call an end to what is happening in our country," Manuel said.

The ex-finance minister spoke at the think tank, along with SaveSA convener and chairperson of AngloGold Ashanti Sipho Pityana and chief executive officer of Nedbank Group Mike Brown. The panel discussion centred on ethical leadership and the role business can play in the future of South Africa.

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