Senzo Mchunu File picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/ ANA

JOHANNESBURG - The Black Management Forum (BMF) on Tuesday slammed ANC NEC member Senzo Mchunu for blaming black managers for all the trouble at State-owned companies, particularly Eskom.

Eskom runs the risk of collapsing if it doesn't get a bailout by April as the debt-ridden power utility has failed to successfully engineer a turnaround, and is expecting to report a R20 billion loss for this past financial year on top of its R420 billion debt. 

Mchunu was quoted in the City Press newspaper over the weekend as saying that the country will regret calling some of black managers "people of excellence" because they were "fake". 

"What has happened in most of the parastatals is that those people whom we trusted, who are indeed black managers proved to be fake. They became excellent in failure and looting," Mchunu was quoted saying. 

BMF president Andile Nomlala said they acknowledged that the utility has over the years been engulfed by a gross failure in corporate governance and ethical leadership. 

Nomlala however, also took a swipe at the ruling party for appointing unqualified executives to run State-owned companies.

"It is actually astonishing that politicians are now putting blame on black managers, yet we have learnt from the State capture commission the fervent pressure politicians have been putting on professionals to do wrong things," Nomlala said.

"It is rich of an ANC NEC member to blame professionals when he knows that his organisation for a couple of years now has been deploying questionable characters to boards of SOCs, that in turn appoint non-matriculants to executive positions."

Nomlala said the BMF will not stand on any pulpit and defend black professionals who have aided State capture, and was calling for those professionals who succumbed to the pressure of politicians to be charged and be brought to book. 

"Even though we blame the environment they operated under, but we can’t justify their own moral standing. There is no excuse to justify unethical behaviour," Nomlala said.

"Instead of the political leadership to start doing a self-introspection and ask themselves what role they have played in this mess, they are busy perpetuating the narrative that black professionals are incompetent thieves that can’t be trusted with positions of responsibility."

African News Agency (ANA)