One of South Africa's foremost business leaders Ahmed Jaffer passes away

Ahmed Jaffer, who most recently served as the CFO of Cresta Printers and Publishers, has passed away.

Cresta Printers and Publishers (CPP) CFO Ahmed Jaffer, has died. Ahmed was the first black partner at KPMG South Africa, but resigned amidst the Gupta-linked upheaval at the firm and joined CPP.

KPMG Africa head of markets and business development Zaheer Ahmed said that “anyone who knew Ahmed Jaffer will know he was an inspiration and champion for transformation in South Africa and for the firm.”

Zaheer added that while the events over the past few years in the profession had clouded Ahmed’s image, anyone who had met and worked with him would remember what a great man he was.

Ahmed was one of the country’s foremost business leaders, an energy sector expert and an authority on Islamic banking. He joined KPMG in 1980 as one of the firm’s first black hires. He fought against negative stereotypes and became KPMG’s first black partner in 1996.

In an interview with CFO South Africa in 2016, Ahmed said that he was successful when joining KPMG because he believed in hard work and perseverance.

“I knew that if I delivered quality work and understood my clients that someone within the firm would have enough confidence in me to give me big assignments, and they did. But it was not easy. It was the worst time, actually. My ethics helped and to some extent it is quite nice to be the underdog, because it encouraged me to focus on succeeding.”

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