The writer is a former anti-apartheid leader and a former Labor government minister
A decade of corruption in South Africa under former President Jacob Zuma has robbed its taxpayers of hundreds of millions of pounds (billions of rand) and contributed to the catastrophic loss of gross domestic product of about a fifth.
But recently finding of the State Judicial Commission headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zonda lambasting Bain & Company because the “illegal” behavior under the Zoom is just the tip of the iceberg of global and British corporate complicity in the scandal surrounding the takeover of the state in South Africa.
Incredible robbery and money laundering would not have been possible without the cooperation of Bain & Company, KPMG, McKinsey, SAP, and banks HSBC, Standard Chartered and Barodasome of whom even owned repaid some fees. On the basis of what I presented in Parliament, I also believe in the law office Hogan Lovells was an accomplice.
Global corporations have won expensive government contracts by helping Zuma’s business associates, the Gupta brothersto plunder the country and move their stolen billions from South Africa, and then sometimes back, undiscovered.
Global banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and Baroda have opened their electronic banking channels to Guptam and their associates to transfer money through their digital channels to less regulated and transparent jurisdictions such as Dubai and Hong Kong or the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean. And then launder the money by mixing it with other funds and concealing its origin.
These banks should have noticed suspicious activity long before or immediately. Global lawyers and accountants helped the Gupta set up fake companies, hiding their real owners and allowing money to move from one country to another. Unfair audits have left suspicious transactions hidden. Real estate agents received laundered money during Gupta’s property purchase.
Global brands profited as Guptasi hid and spent stolen funds otherwise destined for South Africa’s substantial public spending, leaving its public finances nearly bankrupt and growth halted.
Given the devastating located on Bain in the first of three Zondo Commission reports – two are yet to come and are expected to cover other global corporations – it is unacceptable for Bain to be licensed in the UK, US or anywhere else, at least until it repays fees estimated at £ 100 million (Rs 2 billion) earned from South African country during the Zuma years and responded to allegations in the courts there (the company says the commission “mischaracterized” it is a job).
Bain has in recent years had contracts worth £ 55 million with the British Government Office alone; I wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking him to suspend contracts with her and do the same for others that Zondo accuses.
Because governments that turn a blind eye are also part of the scandal. Unless the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States, China, India, and the UAE cooperate with each other, the re-occupation of the state will take place, either in South Africa or elsewhere.
Despite allegations of strict anti-money laundering and corruption laws, international criminals continue to rob and launder money with impunity through centers such as London, New York, Hong Kong, Delhi and Dubai.
Investigators require adequate resources, but never get them. In the United Kingdom in 2019, the head of the National Crime Agency requested an additional one 2.7 billion pounds of funding for law enforcement – not approved.
Governments around the world are talking about corruption, but so far have refused to take the necessary harsh measures against corporations to prevent them from enabling it. Without cross-border co-operation, no country will be emancipated from financial crime, which the UN Office on Drugs and Crime deems valuable. up to 5 percent of world GDPor $ 2 billion each year.