Sorry, the song goes, seems to be the hardest word. But in the case of McKinsey’s newly minted global head Kevin Sneader, it was the centrepiece of his mea culpa to the SA business community as he gave a thoroughly Japanese-like apology for his company’s involvement in state capture through its deals with Eskom, Transnet, Trillian and Regiments Capital. Sneader still took a lashing. At an event this week hosted by the Gordon Institute of Business Science, he was grilled by attendees like Business Leadership SA’s unforgiving head Bonang Mohale, Corruption Watch’s David Lewis, JSE chair Nonkululeko Nyembezi and the media. Nicola Kleyn, dean of the business school, told Sneader that he’d "dived into a pool of pain", while Mohale lambasted a business community that he said had profited from corruption in state-owned companies while giving little back. "Context in SA is everything," said Mohale. "You are part of a business community that after 350 years didn’t even ask for forgiveness, j...

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