Ethical entrepreneur Motsuenyane gave apartheid no rest

Former president Thabo Mbeki has described the late veteran entrepreneur Dr Sam Motsuenyane as a courageous, ethical and committed leader who stood for truth all the time.

Mbeki said this at the funeral of Motsuenyane, who died on April 29 aged 97. Motsuenyane, was president of the National Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) for 24 years.

Family, friends and colleagues attended the funeral service in Pretoria on Thursday to bid the business stalwart farewell.


Leadership of high calibre

“The period in our country in which Nafcoc was established was very challenging. Especially for those who led movements and initiatives seeking genuine change,” said Mbeki.

“It required leadership of high calibre to contend with the brutal and cunning offensive in which the apartheid regime was involved for the purposes of self-protection. A leadership that was clear and consistent about the principal objective to be achieved. Ensuring that it was properly understood by the members and supporters. Sam Motsuenyane was such a leader,” said Mbeki.

Renowned business leader Dr Reuel Khoza described Motsuenyane as a man who leaves behind good works. He said good works that improve the lives of all people. This through impactful and commendable deeds and an edifying legacy.

During his presidency at Nafcoc, the organisation started African Bank with Motsuenyane as the founding chairman. He was also instrumental in Nafcoc’s formation of the Black Chain, among other business ventures.

Virtuous, wise and brave businessman

Khoza described him as a virtuous, wise and brave businessman.

“Dr Motsuenyane epitomises all these virtues. At no stage did he show anxiety, his wisdom shone through, leaving no room for confusion. He displayed much courage in challenging the vicious apartheid edifice, which was politics of suppression and dehumanisation. This as much it was economics of exclusion and exploitation.


“His leadership was very instrumental in what transformation we could notch up. He ensured organisational prowess and effectiveness, spanning decades. Motsuenyane personified uncompromising ethical values and integrity.”

Gave apartheid no rest

Khoza said stated that Motsuenyane, along with the late Dr Richard Maponya, Archie Nkonyeni, Roger Sishi, Max Tlakula and Reverend Joe Hlongwane, among others, through Nafcoc, provided the leadership thrust that gave apartheid no rest.

“Dr Motsuenyane’s life is a bold statement proclaiming that as a worthy business leader you cannot justify your existence by profit statements alone. You must also render service to your local, national, continental and even world community,” he said.

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