Sasol — the petrochemical company founded in 1950 to provide the apartheid state with energy security — must be feeling as if it’s just done five rounds with Dricus du Plessis, South Africa’s mixed martial arts world champion.

“You’ll get the NGOs who say we don’t do enough, you’ll get shareholders who say we’re not doing enough for them, and those who say, from a country point of view, we want you to succeed,” says outgoing CEO Fleetwood Grobler...

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