Why are World Business leaders Meeting in South Africa!

Why are World Business leaders Meeting in South Africa!

By Hwaa Irfan

Some of the world’s leading business thinkers will descend on South Africa… where were they when the global economic crisis set in?  One of the attendees Professor Michael Porter (author of 17+ books on marketing strategy and business competitiveness), apparently has advised governments and business leaders, so what happened to that advise!

Fronting an image that still exists amongst developing and emerging nations, these experts are to share their insights at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit on August 30, 2012 at the Sandton Convention Center.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu for one will not be attending for the following reasons:

“The archbishop has spent considerable time over the past few days wrestling with his conscience and taking counsel from trusted advisers with respect to his attendance at the event,” the archbishop’s office wrote to the event organisers.

With the theme of this years Summit being ‘leadership’ for Tutu morality and leadership is indivisible, one that is not represented by most leaders today and one that Tutu’s conscience finds difficult to represent if he shares a platform with infamous former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Blair responded with the following statement:

Following Tutu’s decision, Blair released a statement according to the Mail and Guardian

“Obviously [Tony Blair] is sorry that the archbishop has decided to pull out now from an event that has been fixed for months and where he and the Archbishop were never actually sharing a platform.

“As far as Iraq is concerned they have always disagreed about removing Saddam by force; such disagreement is part of a healthy democracy.

“As for the morality of that decision we have recently had both the memorial of the Halabja massacre where thousands of people were murdered in one day by Saddam’s use of chemical weapons; and that of the Iran-Iraq war where casualties numbered up to a million including many killed by chemical weapons.

“So these decisions are never easy morally or politically”.

Feeling that His acts are wiped clean by someone elses act seems to make him innocent by dissassociating himself from what he has been responsible for.

Unfortunately, Tutu’s sentiment is also felt by some fellow South Africans who want to arrest him like many others around the world for war crimes.

“Since Pretoria politicians justifiably complain that the International Criminal Court mainly prosecutes African tyrants, leaving European and American war criminals to travel the world gathering huge speaking fees, some action by Foreign Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane would reduce the talk left, walk right accusation against South Africa. She might simply follow the recent lead of Malawian President Joyce Banda, who warned Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to stay away from Lilongwe on threat of arrest.”

… states the arrestblair website.

The Committe received many written requests to exclude Blair, but refused on the basis that the Summit has nothing to do with politics… that’s a good one!

Back to the Summit

Attendees at the Summit include:

Garry Kimovich Kasparov, born Garik Kimovich Weinstein to a Armenian mother, and Russian Jewish father in Azerbaijan is a chess grand master, writer, ‘political activist (pro-democracy and anti-Putin)’ who competed for the Russian elections in 2008! Author of How Life Imitates Chess – one for global governance.

Kasparov conducted a full day seminar on strategic thinking for UST Global corporation, Connecticut in 2010

His thinking can be illustrated in the following extract from an interview:

“An anti-democratic regime can be neither reformed nor modernized; it can only be dismantled. All the hope that goes into finding a way to somehow reform or perfect the current system is in vain. It’s impossible, because the essence of the system will remain the same.”

Sounds useful (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, North Korea, Pakistan).

Pravin Gordhan, Finance Minister of South Africa, took part in the Natal Indian Congress call to boycott elections in the 1980’s, detained three times under apartheid, and a former member of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and African National Congress (ANC). Gordhan was former Chair of World Customs Organization, former co-chair of Transitional Executive Council which steered the multi-party negotiations towards the 1st ‘democratic’  1994 elections in South Africa. Also Chair of forum on Tax Administration for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD.

The focus of his 2012 budget as stated in his address is creating jobs, reducing poverty, building infrastructure and expanding our economy. But he aso said:

“There are expanding opportunities on our own continent. Africa is the second fastest growing region in the world. This growth is sustained by high commodity prices…” and this we know does not fare well for the working classes, and reflects in the economic injusts they are facing.

Gordhan is on record for supporting the bailout of banksters following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Trevor Manuel who lobbied the world to grant the IMF a U.S$500bn capital boost to naively prevent global financial collapse. The other BRICS haven’t yet paid a cent. One jourmalist does not like Gordhan’s politics very much. Patrick Bod writes:

“Gordhan is paying a high price for the company he keeps, if the BRICS go along with Lagarde’s request to add to the bank-bailout kitty. Gordhan was asked by Moneyweb’s Alec Hogg about the $100 million Pretoria is expected to contribute to the IMF: “Many African countries went through hell in the 70s and 80s because of conditionality according to these loans. Are you going to try and insist that there is similar conditionality now that the boot is on the other foot, as it were?”

“Absolutely,” replied hell-raiser Gordhan, “The IMF must be as proactive in developed countries as it is in developing countries. The days of this unequal treatment and the nasty treatment, if you like, for developing countries and politeness for developed countries must pass.”

To add another question mark against Gordhan is his recent defence of the appointment of Mo Shaik as head of Development Bank of SA’s international subsidiary with the only relevant experience being ‘trained’ at the Harvard Business School.”

So we should all go down together!

“Growth is certainly going to be below 3% as we go into 2012,” Gordhan told CNN, a ‘lack of ambition’ in the eyes of the Democratic Alliance as Gordhan is already ‘preparing’ the country for harder times, but is that before or after the U.S$100mn gift to the IMF!

Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of the Tescos supermarket chain. Received his Knighthood for services to the food retailing industry in 2002. Also, Senior Advisor to the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier and Rice.

Leahy is also an investor in the U.K-based Hut Group, of which the main advisor is a Rothschild. The Rothschild Foundation was behind the Resource 2012, a sustainability-focused July event at the University of Oxford’s Examination Schools which included Leahy as a speaker alongside former US president Bill Clinton. Sir Evelyn de Rothschild was on a panel of experts for the Global Achievements Awards 2002 alongside Leahy. For someone who rose from the ranks of the working class the following comment does not sit right:

“Very noble social objectives, welfare, health and education, can only be met if the economy is successful and there are wealth creators. We take that for granted. We need to recognise that wealth creation is as noble an activity as working in public service and charities,”

As a believer in the free market, and someone who trusts people, in my eyes taxes are still too high.


Leahy is believes in the rebirth of the culture of capitalism and the free market, the same market that rigs the system of trade whereby  developing countries and countries they do not like are not paid a fair rate for their products.

It all depends on which side of the fence one is on, ironic as Bodn recounts in the case of South Africa:

The worst period was 1999-2001 when the largest Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed firms – Anglo, DeBeers, Old Mutual, SA Breweries, Mondi, Investec, Didata and others – were given permission by Manuel to take their party to London, switching financial headquarters and primary stock market listings away from Johannesburg.

The blood then hemorrhaged: corporate dividends, rich white people’s apartheid-era loot and ‘Black Economic Empowerment’ tycoons’ tenderpreneurship takings (e.g. Mzi Khumalo’s illegal R1 billion+ of capital flight) spurted out of SA at record rates. In 2007, according to economists from Wits University, the capital outflow amounted to more than a fifth of the country’s GDP that year.”

Michael E. Porter, recognized as father of modern strategy. The Institute for Competitiveness, India this year launched the Porter Prize. Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School. Porter’s work is recognized by many governments, corporations and academic circles globally. He chairs Harvard Business School’s program dedicated for newly appointed CEOs of very large corporations.

Michael Porter has founded the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City – ICIC,  the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and FSG-Social Impact Advisors. Porter co-chairs the Global Competitiveness Report, an annual ranking of the competitiveness and growth prospects of more than 100 countries released by the World Economic Forum.

Porter is also one of the founders of the Monitor Group, consultants in strategy which received flack in 2011 for contracts with Libya under Muammar Qathafi, which were not registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Porter serves on the Board of Trustees of Princeton University after obtaining his BSE in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and is on the board of directors for Parametric Technology Corporation and Thermo Electron Corporation, plays an active role in U.S. economic policy with the Executive Branch, Congress, and international organizations.

Porter has an accolade of awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Department of Commerce in 2008 for his contribution to economic development.

Like Leahy, Porter believes in re-inventing capitalism as demonstrated in a joint article with Mark. R. Kramer entitled “Creating Shared Value: How to Reinvent Capitalism — and Unleash a Wave of Innovation and Growth.”

Defining the concept of ‘shared value’ Porter explained to the New York Times as:

a more sophisticated form of capitalism,” in which “the ability to address societal issues is integral to profit maximization instead of treated as outside the profit model.”

But profit maximization at what cost to whom!

Porter is listed as the founding patron of the Nigeria-based Tony Elumelu Foundation, that invests in small and medium sized enterprises through the partnership with Heirs Holdings of which Elumelu is the chair of Heirs Holdings a principal investment vehicle, with a diversified portfolio, including interests in the financial services, real estate and resources sectors. CEO of the Foundation Dr. Wiebe Boer  was formerly Associate Director of the Rockefeller Foundation. As if Nigeria doesn’t have enough interest in their interests, one feels a red flag waving here, even though Elumelu’s intentions is to drive African investment from within the continent as a former member of the World Economic Forum, a member of the Bretton Woods Committee that founded the World Bank, and the IMF after WWII, and is partnered with Tony Blair under the Blair-Elumelu Fellowship Programme. As above so below!

Sizwe Errol Nxasana, CEO of FirstRand Ltd., one of four of the big banks in South Africa. Nxasana was chair of the audit commitee for South African Revenue Service, CEO of Telkom SA Ltd, director for Development Bank of South. Nxasana is the highest paid banking CEO in South Africa, and the country’s first African CEO. Nxasana led a FirstRand alliance with China Construction Bank to provide Chinese investors with financial and advisory services in Africa, and for African investors in China.

FirstRand includes Rand Merchant Bank and FNB, and has a banking license in Kenya with eyes on Ghana and Nigeria. They acquired Finance Bank Zambia Ltd in 2011, the dealings of which have been investigated by the Zambia’s Competition Commission.  The transaction was reversed when newly elected president of Zambia, Michael Sata, declared the U.S$5.4m sale had not been conducted properly and was therefore void. Mr Sata correctly sacked the governor Caleb Fundanga and the entire board of the Central Bank, accusing them of rushing through the sale without calling for competitive bids.

FirstRand is a member of the Peace Park Club. The Peace Parks Foundation was founded by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Nelson Mandela and Anton Rupert. Other members include:

South Africa – De Beers Consolidated Mines, FirstRand, Standard Bank of South Africa,

U.K. – Marquess of Cholmondeley, Viscount Cowdray, Mick Jagger, Viscount Leverhulme KG, NF Oppenheimer,

U.S. – Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, David Rockefeller, Laurance S. Rockefeller,

“When the Berlin Treaty was signed in 1884, African territories were dealt like a pack of cards to colonial powers. The national borders then proclaimed cut across tribal and clan groupings as well as animal migration routes, fragmenting eco-systems and destroying biodiversity. Africa’s freedom was shattered an injustice that Peace Parks Foundation is seeking to rectify. The dream is to once again create an Africa where wildlife can roam freely across international borders” – Club 21

Richard Gnodde, Co-CEO of Goldman Sach’s Int’l who became partner in 1998. Gnodde was president and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs (Asia), president at Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte Ltd. He serves as a Director at Goldman, and former director of Goldman Sachs Australia Pty. Ltd. Also, Gnodde is trustee of the University of Cape Town Trust, trustee of Foundation and Friends of the Royal Botannical Garden.

The reputation of Goldman Sach’s in recent times is well known with constant bailouts from Federal Reserve loans at almost 0% interest, insider trading, and fraud.  At the heart of Wall Street Sachs is was one of the three top donors to the Obama campaign, and is so again with Mitt Romney ($352,200) and Barack Obama (U.S$49,124)

Goldman Sach’s is a Rothschild banking entity (which still has major stakes in South Africa), that has a long history with deep connections, and many government officials around the world were former employees of Sachs:

John Corzine – former co-chief executive of Goldman Sachs, was former governor of New Jersey since 2006, and six years in the US Senate

Joshua Bolten – former director of legal affairs for Goldman Sachs, was a lawyer for George Bush’s 2000 election campaign, and was chief of staff since 2006.

Paul Deighton – headed the London’s planning for the 2012 Olympic Games was an investment banker for Goldman Sachs

Robert Rubin – chief operating officer for Golman Sachs was Treasury Secretary for Bill Clinton;s Administration

Gavyn Davis – former economist for Goldan Sachs was former chair of the BBC,  advsior to  Gordon Brown, and married Prime Minister’s aide Sue Nye.

Robert Zoellick – head of international affairs was former head of the World Bank.

Lucas Papademos –  the unelected Greek Prime Minister help the Greek government mask the true extent of its deficit as former head of Greece’s Central Bank, where he worked closely with Goldman Sachs to.

Mark Carney, working for Goldman Sachs advised the Russian government on economic policy, which ended in severe economic collapse, but profited Goldman Sachs.  Carney moved on to head the Bank of Canada.

And the list goes on…

Stephen Koseff, CEO of Investec Group. Investec has just partnered with Glencore, one of the world’s largest commodities brokerage corporations, the head of which said the U.S. drought will be  “good for Glencore” because it will lead to opportunities to exploit soaring prices. Koseff is director of Bidvest Ltd., member of Investment Committee and member of Human Resources Committee. Koseff was General Manager of Merchant Banking, former director of UBank. Koseff is also chair of the Banking Association of South Africa. On the 50th anniversary of Israel’s ‘independence’ Koseff was one of many awarded The Jubilee Award by then Prime Minister Netanyahu according to the Virtual Israel website. The award was to recognize those  that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy alongside Nicholas Frank Oppenheimer ,Chairman, De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd.

Investec specialize in investment and private banking, as well as asset management in the U.K, South Africa, Australia and Ireland.

The founder and organizer of the Summit is Discovery Group. Discovery Group, is the largest South African private healthcare provider. The Founder of Discovery Health is Adrian Gore who is also CEO of Discovery Holdings Limited a subsidary of FirstRand Ltd. Gore is also chair of both Destiny Health Inc in the USA and Prudential Health Limited in the UK, and director of the Vitality Group Ltd., a subsidary of Discovery Holdings. Gore is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, CEO of Discovery at RMB Holdings Ltd and FirstRand, chair of the South African Board of Jewish Education, and director of Endeavour South Africa that is interested in developing entrepeneural talent. Gore served as a former board member of The Ethics Institute of South Africa. He has been a delegate of the World Economic Forum and in 2009, was appointed to the World Economic Forum Global Health Advisory Board, a component of the World Economic Forum that is committed to improving the state of global healthcare.

Adrian’s Gore’s views on success:

Success is defined by having a profound and proper dream. You need to have something that you want to do if you want to define success against – that’s the first thing. The second is that people should be positive – that’s a fundamental tactic and attribute. The third is that time is short – people should be urgent. And finally something I believe and the research shows that you should be honest.

Unfortunately, the Oppenheimer, Rothschild and Rockefeller influence is evident at this Summit, which looks like the colonialists/global governance is up to its old tricks… It will probably be easier this time around, but this is in the context of an apartheid that has never really been put to rest, for a people who maybe are no longer willing to remain quiet, while there are some willing to become leaders, that will lead the rich natural resources back to the global financial elite while they profit as secured by the Protection of Information Bill which was recently put in place.

Real decisions are being made  out of sight of the people, but the people are restless as a new apartheid takes hold. The platinum mine disputes are but a reflection of the little that the employee get while billions flow out of the country to the coffers of the Bank of England. If the all impatient, even smiling Archbishop Tutu’s conscience will not allow him to participate in the facade, then the people will know that their eyes do not deceive them and are not willing to wait until the lion goes to sleep.


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