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Black Business Council demands action against Bain & Co for role in state capture

The Black Business Council (BBC) has called for the consultancy Bain & Co to be blacklisted from further government contracts for its role in furthering state capture. Photo: File

The Black Business Council (BBC) has called for the consultancy Bain & Co to be blacklisted from further government contracts for its role in furthering state capture. Photo: File

Published Jan 17, 2022

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THE BLACK Business Council (BBC) has called for the consultancy Bain & Co to be blacklisted from further government contracts for its role in furthering state capture.

This is in contrast to Business leadership South Africa's (BLSA)'s stance last week, where its chief executive Busisiwe Mavuso defended keeping the US management consultancy Bain & Co as a member, saying the firm is not “inherently corrupt”.

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Meanwhile, Business Unity South Africa (Busa) chief executive Cas Coovadia said on Friday that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should investigate all institutions and individuals that the Zondo report had recommended be investigated.

“The NPA must then prosecute in instances where it finds a prima facie case that pertains. Busa has also expressed a willingness to support the NPA in urgently investigating and bringing those found to have aided and abetted state capture to book,” said Coovadia.

The state capture Inquiry's first report was scathing in its assessment of Bain's consultancy work for The South African Revenue Service (Sars).

Justice Raymond Zondo, deputy chief justice and head of the inquiry, found Bain had colluded with former State President Jacob Zuma in a purge of key officials at Sars, and he called for all of Bain's public sector work to be re-examined.

BLSA had suspended Bain as a member in September 2018, but readmitted it as member last April after the company repaid Sars R164 million and took other steps, including new risk protocols and a leadership change.

Former Bain partner Athol Williams, who testified at the inquiry against his former employer, told the Moneyweb online publication that keeping Bain as a member of BLSA was a “middle finger” to South Africans.

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Last week former UK Cabinet Minister Lord Peter Hain also urged the UK government to ban Bain from doing business with that country's government.

“The BBC strongly believes the law should take its course on all who have been found to have played a part in procurement corruption in the Zondo Commission Report, without fear or favour. This should apply to all individuals, companies, whether big, small, black- or white-owned, local or global.

“Furthermore, those who have paid back the money, should still face the full might of the law, the BBC said on Friday.

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“Reimbursing the state and getting off scot-free makes a mockery of our legal system and does not constitute sufficient punishment for wrongdoing.

“Repayment of R200m with interest is a clear admission of guilt by Bain,” said BBC chief executive Kganki Matabane.

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