Stop posing as president!

The embattled National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) has successfully managed to bar its former CEO, Sabelo Macingwane, from going around saying he is its president.

Nafcoc is one of South Africa’s largest business chambers advocating for black businesses.

Macingwane was elected as the lobby group’s president in November 2018. Gilbert Mosena was elected as the deputy president.

However, Macingwane was removed from his position at a Nafcoc national council meeting on July 31 2019. Nafcoc’s top brass picked Mosena to lead the organisation in an acting capacity.

Macingwane refused to acknowledge his removal, questioning the legality of the meeting that iced him. He launched an urgent application to set aside his removal and to find Mosena and others in contempt of court. That application was dismissed. He has since appealed for recourse at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

While he is waiting for his matter to be heard at the SCA, Nafcoc accused Macingwane of pretending he is still in office and asked the court to interdict him from doing so. Nafcoc argued that every time Macingwane addresses public platforms as its president, the organisation suffers “severe prejudice, as it struggles to manage reputational risks and the respondent’s conduct fuels divisions amongst members and impacts on the strengthening of the organisation”.

The South Gauteng High Court this week ruled in favour of Nafcoc. “Nafcoc and Mosena have demonstrated a reasonable apprehension of irreparable harm, as its partners no longer want to collaborate with it, and its reputation suffers for as long as the respondent rejects their demands to desist from his conduct,” the judgment reads.

“I am also persuaded that Nafcoc has no other remedy as an interim measure given that the respondent has outright rejected its demands that he desists from posing as its president.”

Nafcoc, which was founded in 1964 by black traders in Soweto, including luminaries such as Richard Maponya and Sam Motseunyane, is no stranger to internal strife. Motseunyane used the funeral of Maponya two years ago to call for the leaders of the organisation to unite for the sake of black businesses.

“I am personally aggrieved that Nafcoc, which Maponya and his compatriots worked hard to build up, is still struggling to build unity within their ranks. It is deeply disturbing,” Motsuenyane said at the time.

Macingwane said he will appeal the judgment and until the appeal is heard, he remains the duly elected president of Nafcoc.


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Kabelo Khumalo

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