South Africa


No dodging the State Capture hangover for McKinsey and Trillian

From left: Gupta lieutenant Eric Wood, McKinsey SA linchpin Vikas Sagar, Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa (Photos: Supplied)

The Zondo Commission wants law enforcement to continue investigations into ‘rampant corruption’ identified in the awarding of deals to global consulting firm McKinsey & Co and the Gupta-linked Trillian Capital Partners.

The State Capture Commission wants criminal investigations and possible prosecutions of former Eskom bigwigs Brian Molefe, Anoj Singh and Matshela Koko over deals awarded to consulting firm McKinsey & Co and its intended local partner, Trillian Capital Partners. 

This is due to evidence of  “rampant corruption” found in the awarding of contracts and the approval of payments to the two companies. 

McKinsey and Trillian benefitted massively from a series of deals awarded during the tenure of the controversial Eskom board appointed in 2014 under the chairmanship of the late Dr Ben Ngubane. 

Although McKinsey has repaid Eskom more than R1-billion, investigations into the firm’s role in various transactions and payments have continued over the years.  

Former McKinsey director Vikas Sagar is alleged to have attended a 2012 meeting with Gupta enterprise kingpin, Salim Essa, and Regiments Capital’s Niven Pillay. 

That meeting is often billed as the alleged genesis of State Capture’s grand conspiracy, one that saw the Guptas access a cut of lucrative deals at state-owned companies via local consulting firms. 

The Zondo report, though largely focusing on the conduct of Eskom executives, sets out how the forces had conveniently aligned for McKinsey to finally coin it at Eskom along with local partners. 

McKinsey had initially partnered with Regiments Capital and later with Trillian, although the one with Trillian was never formalised. 

The company had failed McKinsey’s due diligence process – months after it had started working alongside McKinsey at Eskom. 

McKinsey raked in R1,1-billion under two contracts – 10 times more than what it had earned at Eskom in previous years. 

In fact, McKinsey and Trillian raked in a total of R1,6-billion over the course of roughly six months. 

Released on Friday, the commission’s Eskom chapter is significantly tougher on the parastatal’s former executives. 

Molefe and Singh, it states, pursued “negotiations” with McKinsey and Trillian through secret, off-site meetings to agree on a range of issues before any former contracting process had even begun.  

This would ultimately lead to other Eskom managers and or executives preparing irregular and unlawful submissions for the Eskom board. DM


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 2

  • If Eric Wood has been accurately quoted as saying “Illegal or not, Eskom has no right to reclaim…..etc. It absolutely epitomizes how fraud, corruption, theft and illegality have become the norm. The righteous indignation in defending this is mind boggling! “I stole it so it’s mine now.” If this goes unpunished we may as well abolish the judiciary. Won’t comment on law enforcement, they seem to abolished themselves.

    • I find it difficult to respond to the Articles about State Capture in the current D.M.
      Surely, when such enormous amounts of cash are stolen, from the state or anywhere else, it must be simpler to trace the funds than some poor sole who steals a loaf of bread and ends up in jail?
      I am just sickened by the blatant greed of these despicable people and numb with the horror that our government is run by money-grabbing “ministers” who will lie and obtuse their actions so that the funds are never found or repaid and the thugs don’t suffer any consequences whatsoever.

  • Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted