African Bank founder dies

Dr Samuel Motsuenyane, a founding member of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry and African Bank, has died at the age of 97.

African Bank said Motsuenyane poured his heart and soul into establishing a bank ‘by the people, for the people’.

He fervently believed that South Africans could navigate the path from poverty to prosperity with the right financial partner.

“He is the embodiment of the audacity to believe that continues to drive the growth and evolution of the African Bank,” it said.

He rallied black communities to raise the R1 million required to capitalise African Bank and enabled it to open its first branch in Ga-Rankuwa in 1975.

Motsuenyane, widely seen as the Father of Black Business, dedicated his career to establishing and mentoring black business executives and entrepreneurs.

President Cyril Ramaphosa paid tribute to Motsuenyane, saying he was a black-business pioneer.

He was a member of the National Order of the Baobab (Gold) in recognition of his significant personal achievements.

He retired from NAFCOC in 1992 and joined parliament, where he was appointed leader of the House of the Senate.

He later served as the first Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1996 to 2000. He was also accredited as an Ambassador to Oman, Yemen, Kuwait and Bahrain.

After retirement, Motsuenyane initiated a Citrus Farm project that has 145 plot owners organised under the name “Winterveld United Farmers Association”.


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