Insight

Martin Kingston: the man leading business’s response to Covid-19

He married into the ANC inner circle — twice — but don’t define him by his ex-wives, says the man helming business’s co-ordinated response to the coronavirus crisis and the damage it and the lockdown have wrought on the South African economy.

14 June 2020 - 00:00 By CAIPHUS KGOSANA

Are you friends with the president, I ask Martin Kingston. He pauses. The wobbly Zoom connection freezes his facial expression for several seconds.

When I get him back, he has composed himself and offers the diplomatic response that is typical of a man who has become the face of business in the battle against the Covid pandemic: “I’ve known the president for a very long time. I think it would be inappropriate to characterise our relationship as being one that is founded on friendship. I’ve known him for over 30 years, and I would like to think that it’s one that is founded upon mutual respect.”..

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