President Cyril Ramaphosa. FILE PHOTO: ANA

JOHANNESBURG - Former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, on Thursday gave words of encouragement leadership to President Cyril Ramaphosa on his fight against corruption, and slammed "strong man" leadership, saying that it was crucial for leaders to listen to and understand people’s grievances. 

Cameron said that confronting corruption should be a priority for any government as corruption steals wealth from countries, lowers faith in government and underpins violence. 

"South Africa is at an economic political turnaround. It may be a great challenge to turn around corruption. But, South Africa can write a beautiful story of building a real democracy where people thrive together," Cameron said.

"We have to remember the importance of good governance in real leadership. Good governance is what distinguishes countries when dealing with dangerous trends. Leaders who listen to grievances and support building real democracy, are what we need to address the fragility.”

Cameron was speaking at the Discovery Leadership Summit in Johannesburg where he focused on certain leadership lessons and what he believes the qualities of good leadership encompass. 

In a veiled criticism to United States of America President Donald Trump, Cameron said "strong man" leaders exploit self-doubt among people and do rarely take accountability for their decisions. 

"How we lead in dangerous times, is extremely important. We have to ask if the “strong man” leadership style of leaders who believe they alone have all the answers, is what we need now. Just like fake news, fake leaders are not what we need now to find the solutions we need to continue to develop democracy," Cameron said.

"A good leader does not give up on doing the difficult things and making tough decisions. You can take difficult decisions and still win the votes. It is about being a good communicator and creating alliances.

Cameron is well known for his success in decreasing the national deficit in the United Kingdom and also leading the referendum that has paved the way for the United Kingdom to end its membership of the European Union.

During his term, the UK had its first coalition government in 17 years and by coming together, Cameron said they were able to find solutions to some of the most challenging aspects their country faced.

Cameron also paid respects to the leadership style of former president Nelson Mandela, saying that "he was a man with a generous spirit and a total lack of malice."

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African News Agency (ANA)