The Black Management Forum Appreciates the Awarding of the Former President and Stalwart Dr Lot Ndlovu with the National Order of Baobab

Johannesburg, South Africa; 19 April 2018

It is with great excitement to receive the news that the late former President of the Black Management Forum (the BMF), Dr Lot Ndlovu, will be bestowed with the National Order of Baobab in Silver by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday, 28 April 2018. We welcome this great gesture and extend our heartfelt gratitude to the President for this deserved recognition. 

“Bra Lot, as he was affectionately known, has contributed immensely to the socio-economic transformation landscape of our society. He was a pioneer and keystone architect of transformation ideas and policies which have hugely shifted the needle in bringing about change towards normalcy in our country. He was a patriot who leveraged the BMF as an institution and enviable brand to advocate for transformation and advancement of our people. He has taught us that leadership that is based on values does not sacrifice transformation,” commented the BMF President Mncane Mthunzi.

“Bra Lot was an unsurpassed role model with an enormously successful and inspiring corporate and business career. He personified excellence and thought leadership which is anchored on meritocracy. He has energised us to an extent of being controversial and unpopular in advancing the prospects of black professionals in taking control of levers of power and influence in our economy, both in corporate and state,” continued Mthunzi

The BMF and the Ndlovu family are grateful that Bra Lot is finally recognised for hisfar reaching andmodest contribution that he made in the betterment of a South Africa that is non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous which pursues fairness, equity and justice. 

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The Black Management Forum Welcomes the Court Judgement on Mark Lamberti

Johannesburg, South Africa; 6 April 2018

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) welcomes the judgement on Mr Mark Lamberti, the Group CEO of Imperial Holdings Limited and a Board Member at Eskom SOC, which was delivered by Judge Pieter Meyer at the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday, 3 April 2018.

The BMF welcomes the ruling as it seeks to restore and protect the dignity of the plaintiff, Ms Adila Chowan, a highly qualified and experienced black female executive. The comments that are attributed by Mr Lamberti have absolutely no place in South Africa as they seek to drag our country backwards and are reminiscent of our brutal past. Race and gender discrimination in the workplace that is perpetuated by those in positions of authority should have no place in our business society.

Business plays a critical and significant role in our society. We cannot let the scourge of racial and gender discrimination be left unattended. The extreme masculinity that was shown by Mr Lamberti and his all-white executive team when Ms Chowan raised her discomfort at the comments made by him must be condemned in its strongest sense. This behaviour needs to stop. Power and influence must not be used to suppress career progression of qualified black female executives.

The violation and discrimination of women in corporate South Africa leaves a lot to be desired. The objectification of black women in the workplace cannot be addressed solely by policies but by a responsible company leadership attitude and corporate systems that see black women executives as equal players in business and the companies they work for.

The BMF calls on the Eskom board, in particular the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan to remove Mr Lamberti as a board member of Eskom. By extension, we also call on the board of Imperial Holdings Limited to remove Mr Lamberti as its Group CEO. It is inconceivable to have Mr Lamberti sit on any board or position of authority when he holds such discriminatory views against black women executives. Lastly, the BMF calls for the amendment of the Companies Act 71 of 2008, Section 69(8), ‘disqualification to be a director of a company’, to include all offences under the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998, the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000.

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The Black Management Forum Mourns the Passing of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Johannesburg, South Africa; 3 April 2018

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) mourns the sad passing of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Mam’ Winnie, as she was affectionately called, was a struggle icon who played a phenomenal role in striving for freedom in South Africa. She was a champion freedom fighter; a heroine.

The BMF will remember Mam’ Winnie for her courageous and selfless leadership having defied repressive laws especially those associated with patriarchy.

Mam’ Winnie was a fore-bearer for gender equality and was dedicated to women emancipation and empowerment. She was an inspiration to many women across the country who had to head up their families when their male relatives were incarcerated.

The ideals that Mam’ Winnie lived and fought for are equivalent to the mandate of the BMF of influencing socio-economic transformation in South Africa, in pursuit of socio-economic justice, fairness and equity. In 2007, the BMF bestowed on Mam’ Winnie a “Lifetime Achievement” award for exemplary leadership and bravery in leading the country to freedom and democracy.

Mam’ Winnie may be gone but she will never be forgotten.

The role she played in fighting for freedom and democracy will forever be engraved in our hearts. 

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