#StateCapture: Firms must be held accountable to highest standards

Cape Town – Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has spoken out following allegations of state capture involvement by software firm SAP, auditors KPMG and consultancy firm McKinsey, among others.

BLSA said it has “noted the recent accounts of prominent businesses being implicated in reports of state capture”, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

It said that “business needs to be held accountable to the highest ethical standards, the law and the spirit of good governance. BLSA expects its members to respond appropriately to transgressions.

“Business’s ability to play its critical mission as a source of prosperity for all South Africans depends critically on enjoying the trust of society at large. Any conduct which undermines this trust is unacceptable,” it said.

Their warning follows news that a South African director at global consultancy firm McKinsey took a leave of absence following reports he misrepresented the firm in a deal involving Gupta-linked Trillian Capital Partners.

It also follows exclusive #GuptaLeaks reports by amaBhungane and Scorpio that point to alleged wrongdoing by KPMG and SAP.

In a June 30 story, they reported that the “KPMG's dealings with the Guptas leave the impression that the auditor was the family’s lapdog”. Email correspondence in their possession shows that KPMG were well aware of many of the key details surrounding Gupta family wedding at Sun City.

On July 11 story, they reported that SAP signed a “sales commission agreement” with a small Gupta-controlled company that specialises in selling 3D printers. “The terms suggest a thinly-disguised kickback arrangement: If the Gupta company were the ‘effective cause’ of SAP landing a Transnet contract worth R100 million or more, it would get 10 percent.”

McKinsey, KPMG and SAP deny wrongdoing, while the Guptas did not answer questions posed by amaBhungane and Scorpio.

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