Media release: Dr Reuel J Khosa: "Failure of moral leadership in SA today”. Receives FMF’s 9th Luminary Award

Dr Reuel Khosa receives FMF 9th Luminary Award

and speaks of failure of moral authority in SA’s leadership

 Today, 21 June, chairman of Nedbank group and president of the Institute of Directors, Dr Reuel J. Khosa received the Free Market Foundation’s (FMF) 9th Luminary award in recognition of his standing as a business leader with the courage to speak truth to power by taking a consistent and principled stand against poor policy, corruption and incompetence in government, and for championing the cause of good governance. Mr Mike Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Nedbank Group Limited presented the award. 

The FMF bestows the Luminary award in recognition of inspirational individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the principles of economic freedom and set an example to others. Hailed as a role model of leadership in corporate life, Dr. Reuel J. Khoza is both a practitioner and theorist in the field of African leadership.

Mr Brown said, “It is indeed a huge privilege to host the presentation of the Ninth FMF Luminary Award to Dr Reuel Khoza.  Reuel is a distinguished businessman at the forefront of thought  leadership in our country and in Africa.  I had the unique pleasure of working for Reuel for over five years, while he was Chairman of Nedbank Group, and his honesty, integrity and independence of thought, are a beacon for all South Africans, and as this award suggests, will continue to serve as an inspiration to many”.

Introducing Mike Brown and DR Khoza, FMF executive director Leon Louw, said, “Our country is in crisis, according to almost every leader and analyst. It is a crisis of governance, courage and integrity. Reuel Khoza is the kind of leader we need. Those are the qualities he epitomises”.

Accepting the award, Dr Khosa paid tribute to the FMF’s role in championing the cause of basic freedoms and promoting the essential connection between economic freedom and peaceful co-operation under the rule of law, for the sake of prosperity. He spoke of the FMF’s work with Nafcoc in establishing the Law Review Project, which, during the 1980s and 1990s, identified many anti-business and discriminatory laws. Their work to relax or scrap these laws made it possible for people to start up businesses without asking anyone’s specific permission and helped to create jobs.

Dr Khosa said, “The freedom to conduct business without undue restrictions is an aspect of this. Let us not be persuaded that “economic freedom” means that the State should be used to force “freedom” on us through increased regulation that effectively hobbles employment. The FMF has played an important part in the transformation of economic policies in South Africa during the three decades of its existence. I am deeply honoured to receive this Luminary Award from the FMF”.

In his address Dr Khosa spoke about the crucial role of moral authority and governance in corporate, political and economic leadership. Dr Khoza spoke of the “alarming upsurge in racism as frustration and anger take hold, in place of the spirit of forgiveness and inclusiveness that Nelson Mandela embodied. “We have seen the emergence of a strange breed of leaders, determined to subjugate the rule of law and override our noble constitution. This is not the tolerant and accountable democracy for which generations suffered and fought”.

He said that freedom and peace go hand-in-hand but hard-won freedoms were diminishing while violence and lawlessness are on the increase. “We are directionless and have entered a moral wilderness. I am going to argue that this is due in large part of a failure of leadership”.

Dr Khosa’s full speech may be viewed at

See below for Dr Khosa’s abridged profile also details of the previous eight award recipients.




(Abridged Version)

Distinguished thinker, businessman, President of the Institute of Directors, Africanist, public speaker, and change agent in the forefront of black economic empowerment, Reuel J Khoza is both a practitioner and theorist in the field of African leadership.   He has been hailed as a role model of leadership in corporate life.  Reuel spent most of his childhood in the Bushbuckridge area of what is now Mpumalanga province.  With an honours degree in psychology and a master’s degree in marketing management, he entered marketing and soon gravitated to management consulting.  As a management consultant and later company director, he promoted a management philosophy based on Afrocentricity and Ubuntu.  In 1997 he was appointed Chairman of Eskom and led the transformation of the company from being a bastion of the old South Africa to becoming the country’s vanguard in Africa, as its pre-eminent energy supplier and catalyst for Pan-African cooperation and socio-economic development.  In 2005 he relinquished the Eskom position to pursue new business opportunities, chiefly through Aka Capital, a leading black-owned private equity and investment holding company.

The early 1990s had marked his debut as an author with the publication of a booklet on Ubuntu, followed by The African in my Dream in 224.  He returned to authorship in 2005, co-authoring The Power of Governance with his legal advisor at Eskom, Mohamed Adam.  Let Africa Lead is his third book, which was followed by Attuned Leadership in 2011.

Reuel Khoza was Chairman of Nedbank Group from May 2006 to May 2015 and during the same period served on the Old Mutual Plc Board; founder Chairman of Aka Capital (Pty) Ltd in 2001 and chairs it to date. He also chairs Dzana Investments (Pty) Ltd ( A family concern run by daughter Nkateko);and serves on the Nampak Ltd Board. Assumed Chairmanship of Globeleq, an experienced developer, owner and operator of independent power projects in Africa in September 2015.

Currently Fellow and President of the Institute of Directors in South Africa; former member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Panel (RSA);  and former  member of the Honorary International Investment Council of Nigeria; a founder member, past director and patron of the Black Management Forum (BMF).  

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