Many tales like that of Nkonki's are going to emerge in the coming years, tales of black-owned firms which have come to rely on spending by government institutions finding themselves exposed, deservedly or not, due to a change in political climate. The administration of former president Jacob Zuma will have tarnished many. Black business must be feeling a lot like Tony Trahar, the last of Anglo's old-boys club and its CEO in the early years of the century, who had the "audacity" to raise political risk as one of the negatives of operating in the country. Through his weekly address to the nation — his open letter on the ANC Today website — former president Thabo Mbeki wrote a stinging rebuke to Trahar, questioning the commitment of the 100-year-old mining company to South Africa. It's now about 14 years since that letter was written, and there can be little argument that the political risk spoken of by the former Anglo head has become a feature of the South African story.Along with s...

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