In her new role as the president’s economic adviser, the writer, economist, entrepreneur and former competition commissioner Trudi Makhaya will co-ordinate the work of Cyril Ramaphosa’s special investment envoys — Trevor Manuel, Mcebisi Jonas, Jacko Maree and Phumzile Langeni, no less — as they drum up investment into SA from around the world. "We have a lot of work to do to propel our economy to reach its potential and to soar. I am honoured to have been asked to serve the president and our country," Makhaya said.

Had he apologised, he might have drawn the sting from his faux pas in describing a senior black woman staff member as a "female employment equity" appointment in front of other managers. Instead, Imperial CEO Mark Lamberti was hit with a lawsuit in which a high court found he had discriminated against her. He has now resigned from the board of Business Leadership SA, after quitting the Eskom board. The sorry saga might at least serve as a warning to other executives of the perils of arrogance.