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STOP THE ROT OP-ED

It takes two to tango – Businesses have also been culpable in dishonesty, looting and bringing SA to its knees

It takes two to tango – Businesses have also been culpable in dishonesty, looting and bringing SA to its knees
British Labour Lord Peter Hain. (Photo: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images)

Just as State Capture was not all down to dodgy politicians, South Africa will not emerge from its morass of corruption, dysfunctional public services, cronyism, crime, poverty, low to negative economic growth and high unemployment unless everyone stands up to be counted and demands: ‘Never Again’.

This is an edited version of Lord Hain’s speech to the SA Government Anti-Corruption Conference held in Pretoria on Friday 8 December 2023.

Congratulations to the Public Service Commission, the United Nations and Unisa for organising this important event and thank you for inviting me to speak.

Congratulations also to the government for banning Bain & Co from receiving any South African public sector contracts.

Can I ask that each South African ambassador or high commissioner is instructed by the president and foreign minister to press diplomatically for governments in every country to suspend Bain? At the very least until it has answered charges in the South African courts and repaid all the fees it earned from all state-owned enterprises under former President Jacob Zuma — estimated at R2-billion.

But given the devastating findings against Bain by the Zondo Commission, surely it is also unacceptable that the company is licensed to operate commercially in South Africa, the UK, the USA or anywhere else in the world?

Read more in Daily Maverick: Bain & Company — the rot at the heart of State Capture

Remember that the Zondo Commission was excoriating about Bain, finding that it had acted “unlawfully” and referring it for prosecution; can I be assured that prosecution will happen?

The Zondo Commission’s findings, coming on top of those by the Nugent Commission, were a devastating indictment of a company which operates at, and influences, the highest levels of government and business around the world.

In South Africa, Bain used its expertise, not to enhance the functioning of a world-renowned tax authority, but deliberately to disable SARS’ ability both to collect tax and to pursue tax evaders, all in the service of their corrupt paymasters. The very company which possessed the expertise to bolster South Africa’s defences against the ravages of State Capture, in fact, weakened these defences and profited from it.

Yet Bain remains in denial, despite infamously and unlawfully carrying out former President Zuma’s personal instructions at an unprecedented 17 one-to-one meetings.

The prodigious looting, corruption and money laundering during the State Capture decade would not have been possible without the connivance of, among others, Bain & Company, KPMG, McKinsey, SAP, and the banks HSBC, Standard Chartered and Baroda, several of whom have owned up and even repaid some fees.

Global corporates obtained sweetheart, fee-clutching state contracts helping former President Zuma’s business associates, the Gupta brothers, to loot the state and move their stolen billions out of South Africa, and then sometimes back in, undetected. These billions have not been recovered — and experienced financial crime and asset recovery specialists I personally introduced to the government in 2019 were never engaged.

Global banks like HSBC, Standard Chartered and Baroda admitted opening their electronic banking channels to the Guptas and their associates to transfer this money through their digital pipelines to less regulated jurisdictions like Dubai and Hong Kong, or British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean. And then to “clean” the money by mingling it with other funds — so disguising its origins and enabling it to be more easily spent.

These banks should have spotted this suspicious activity much sooner, or immediately: secretive transactions to obscure the ownership of the accounts; unexplained payments to and from third parties with little or no apparent connection to the underlying transaction; the transfer of funds around shell companies which did not conduct trading and obscured the persons controlling them; and unexplained connections with, and movement of, monies between jurisdictions.

Global lawyers and accountants assisted the Guptas to set up complex “shell” (“front”) companies, hiding their true owners and enabling money to be moved from one country to another country where there is low transparency. Dishonest audits left suspicious transactions hidden. Estate agents enabled Gupta property purchases with looted, laundered money.

Global brand names from KPMG to McKinsey, from HSBC to Standard Chartered, all profited while the Guptas hid and spent stolen funds that could otherwise have been destined for essential South African needs for hospitals, schools, job creation or infrastructure, leaving South Africa’s public finances near bankrupted, growth stalled, triggering a collapse in the country’s GDP estimated at fully one fifth, decimating public services, and leading to paralysing daily electricity cuts and water supply contamination.

Can I urge the South African government to press the US and UK governments especially to get all the complicit global corporates and global banks headquartered in US and UK cities to open their books and reveal where the looted money went and to help return it. Bain & Co, for example, are headquartered in Boston.

London and UK Overseas Territories — from the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean to Gibraltar — are infamous money laundering hotspots. What is UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak doing to stop this? Nothing as far as I can tell.

Can I urge the South African government to engage with the United Arab Emirates to get the authorities in Dubai to open all the books of the many companies operating there which money-laundered the Guptas’ looted funds?

Can I urge the South African government to engage with the government of China to get the authorities in Hong Kong to open all the books of the many companies operating there which money-laundered the Guptas’ looted funds?

Can I urge the South African government to engage with the government of India to get the authorities in Delhi to arrest the Guptas and seize their assets in the country to return looted funds? Why has the Indian government not acted over the Bank of Baroda’s serious complicity in money laundering for the Guptas, because the Indian state part owns Baroda?

Can I urge the South African government to engage with the government of Uzbekistan to get the authorities there to arrest the Guptas and seize their assets in the country and return looted funds?

Governments from Pretoria to Washington DC, from London to Delhi and from Brussels to Beijing must also do much more to properly regulate lawyers, bankers, real estate agents, accountants, and other financial service providers aiding money laundering; enforce laws against foreign corruption; and enhance transparency. Many of these are based in the financial centres of the Global North.

Money laundering is causing a staggering $1.6-trillion in global losses annually, with more than $7-trillion in private wealth held in secretive offshore accounts — the equivalent of 10% of global gross domestic product (GDP).

With corrupt leaders looting public funds for personal gain and thrusting their people deeper into poverty, South Africa and many African countries bear the brunt of this abuse.

Global Financial Integrity estimates that developing countries lose more than 10 times in illicit financial outflows due to corruption than they receive in foreign aid, the real figure is probably much higher.

More flows out of the developing world into Western accounts than the other way around; Africa is particularly a victim with annual permanent outflows exceeding $100-billion a year — making Africa a net creditor to the rest of the world: not the rich supporting the poor, but the poor supporting the rich [see Baker, R: Invisible Trillions (New York, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2023].

Can I therefore urge the South African government to take a lead in establishing an International Anti-Corruption Court?

Over 300 prominent figures, including over 50 former presidents, prime ministers, and over 30 Nobel laureates, have already endorsed it — as have Canada, Ecuador, Moldova, the Netherlands, Nigeria, the European Parliament, and the UK Labour Party shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy.

But why a new court when we have the International Criminal Court?  Because the ICC focuses on atrocity crimes such as genocide and war.  It cannot prosecute individuals for corruption.

The core crimes in the new  IACC’s {International Anti-Corruption Court’s} jurisdiction would not require time-consuming fresh examination, because the United Nations Convention Against Corruption already obliges its 190 signatory countries to criminalise bribery, embezzlement, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.

The IACC would target high-level officials, bribers, and money launderers who commit a part of their crimes within member states.

Entrenched kleptocracies (like Russia or Zimbabwe) may resist joining the new Court, but kleptocrats frequently conceal their illicit assets abroad in countries like the UK, Europe, the US, and many others. If those countries joined the IACC, that would enable the court to freeze and recover stolen assets, even where they evade arrest by staying in their home countries or depositing their illicit gains in safe havens.

Moreover, if they travel to an IACC member state or a country with an extradition treaty, they face the risk of arrest, trial, and imprisonment.

Some in the Global South have suggested that such an IACC would be a creature of the West, claiming that the International Criminal Court has focused on prosecuting developing country leaders rather than Western leaders.

They cite other international organisations like the United Nations Security Council, World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization, which do not represent countries of the Global South.

But representatives of the Global South were at the New Institute in Hamburg in late August 2023 when Integrity Initiatives International — an NGO of which South African Judge Richard Goldstone is a vice chair — organised the first in-person expert group to begin drafting an IACC treaty.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Do kleptocrats call the shots at the UN? Its special session against corruption was a wasted opportunity

Participants included a justice from Trinidad and Tobago, an international prosecutor from Nigeria, two anti-corruption compliance lawyers from Brazil, an international court registrar from Cameroon, a victims’ representation lawyer from Bangladesh, and a legal scholar from Mexico, as well as experts from the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Discussions focused on drawing lessons from the experiences of the ICC and other international and hybrid tribunals. They emphasised the critical need for extensive involvement of Global South stakeholders in the drafting process, alongside experts from the Global North, to ensure the new court’s effectiveness.

Corruption is not confined to the Global South; it’s a global and transnational issue. That’s precisely why an international institution like the IACC is imperative.

Corruption sadly happens in every country across the world, including in Britain, notably during Covid.

But I often wonder whether South African government ministers have any comprehension of the terrible damage that has been done to the country by the State Capture decade and continuing corruption by some Cabinet ministers and others at every level of government in the country.

Do they ever think of their children and grandchildren? Because looting the country and appointing unqualified and unsuitable cronies to run public services and state-owned enterprises, leading to load shedding, South African Airways’ bankruptcy and collapsing services, is robbing the children and grandchildren of this country of their futures.

I am a trustee of two London-based South African charities, one operating deep into the old Transkei, not too far from Madiba’s birthplace, which was able to raise over R250-million from Western donors in the past. But no longer. People simply will not donate because of fears their money will be looted by unscrupulous politicians or public officials — even when as UK-registered charities, bound by strict rules, there is no possibility of that happening.

I have also spoken to foreign corporates who invested in South Africa after 1994 and would still want to invest and create new jobs and prosperity, if it were not for the corruption which is still completely disabling the country.

Whilst I was teaching at Pretoria University’s business school GIBS, a mother studying for an MBA explained how she had refused to pay bribes to driving test inspectors to allow her daughter to take a test. Her daughter had to visit five test centres in Gauteng — beginning with Randburg — before she could finally find an honest inspector, having uncovered a troubling dual system: one for those willing to pay bribes and another for those seeking an honest driving licence.

Her commitment to integrity eventually prevailed, though at considerable cost and stress lasting nearly six months and costing her parents over R30,000. Can I please ask the president to refer this to the police for investigation?

Another MBA student I was teaching explained how her small business with just five employees depended upon three able Zimbabweans. But to secure visas for their continued employment, she would have to pay a bribe to Home Affairs officials. Can I please ask the president to refer this to the police for investigation?

South African citizens tell me that if they want almost any sort of licence or permit, or are stopped by traffic police, they have to pay a bribe.

It is like a cancer infecting every part of a human body and which deters tourists and investors and will turn the country into a failed state if it is not eradicated.

Similarly, attacks on the Constitution and vicious intimidation of brave independent journalists by leading politicians in the ANC and EFF do irreparable damage to the country’s reputation.

So too do “Mafia State” practices such as sabotage at Eskom and Transnet; assassinations of whistleblowers; contract killings by trained assassins; organised crime in the public and private sectors; extensive procurement corruption; disruption of transport; insurrectionary outbreaks; brazen theft of metals; and illegal mining.

Read more in Daily Maverick: ‘Transnet and Eskom’s failures have cost South Africa R200bn’, says Sars boss

As Chief Justice Raymond Zondo warned recently, “the levels of corruption in our country have reached completely unacceptable proportions, and unless something very drastic and effective is done soon, we will have no country worth calling our home.”

He added that “most of the corruption we get in SA is in the area of public procurement. If we can close the taps in public procurement, we will make a big difference in our fight against corruption. We recommended the establishment of a public anti-corruption agency. We see that the Public Procurement Bill of 2023 doesn’t have an institution like that.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa receives the first part of the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture from the Commission’s Chairperson, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo 4 January 2022, at the Union Buildings. (Photo: Alet Pretorius)

But it takes two to tango. South African and global businesses have been culpable too. It is no exaggeration to say that business slept through the State Capture years.

And the sorry story continues to this day with ministers and councillors still wanting backhanders to dispense contracts to companies eager for the work and willing to pay.

It is high time the business community owned up and ostracised anybody still playing this game. Because if that happened, corrupt politicians and officials would have their looting massively curbed, if not halted.

Most businesspeople moan about the slow pace of the government’s anti-corruption reforms. Yet implementation of the Zondo Commission’s 2022 report doesn’t only fall to the president and the law enforcement agencies.

Consultants, auditors, accountants and lawyers should refuse to sanctify wrongdoing in either state-owned enterprises or government.

Brave anti-corruption whistleblowers like Athol Williams, who exposed Bain, need to be encouraged and protected, not hounded, penalised, and shunned by South African business as he has so shamefully been — forced to leave South Africa to feel safe and to find a job in England.

Business Leadership SA, Business Unity SA, the JSE, SA Institute of Chartered Accounts, other business institutes, educational bodies, chambers, business and trade bodies, need to be proactive.

All of this to ensure that South Africa’s business reputation, which was consistently ranked in the world’s top five, is restored.

Otherwise, vital international investor confidence, so high under the Mandela and Mbeki governments, will not be restored. Foreign direct investment is critical to the country’s future economic success, growth and prosperity, as well as to eradicating poverty and unemployment.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Foreign direct investment inflows into SA shrink to almost nothing in Q1 – Reserve Bank

Just as State Capture was not all down to dodgy politicians, South Africa will not emerge from its morass of corruption, dysfunctional public services, cronyism, crime, poverty, low to negative economic growth and high unemployment unless everyone stands up to be counted and demands: “Never Again”.

Yet Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has expressed his frustration at the failure of the government to implement some of his most important recommendations in the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, pointing out that of the 10 recommendations he made to stop procurement corruption, only four have been included in the new Draft Public Procurement Bill.  

He added damningly: “If another group of people were to do exactly what the Guptas did to pursue State Capture, Parliament would still not be able to stop it — and that is simply because I have seen nothing that has changed.”

Ministers and councillors, with business, must step up and insist that the country is set back on a path towards a society of equal opportunity for all, in accordance with the Constitution and the rule of law.

Rightly a pariah under apartheid, South Africa is now cold-shouldered because of corruption, its reputation tragically falling from hero under first Nelson Mandela and then Thabo Mbeki, to zero.

Tragically, many thousands of freedom Struggle activists have been betrayed by the politicians who have looted and brought the country nearly to its knees.

Similarly betrayed have been the heroes of the liberation struggle, leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Lillian Ngoyi, Robert Sobukwe, Chris Hani, Steve Biko, Albertina Sisulu, Ruth First, Helen Joseph, Joe Slovo, Ronnie Kasrils — these and many others who were killed, banned, house arrested, exiled or served harsh jail sentences.

It is time to reclaim their mission, to rescue and resurrect this special country before it is too late. DM

Lord Peter Hain  is s Member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom.

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Alley Cat says:

    Great piece, thank you Peter. Unfortunately, I think your call and those of Zondo will remain unheeded. The corrupt ANC knows about all these crimes but is unwilling to do anything about it. Our country is hurtling ever faster over the cliff and this sorry excuse for a government is doing nothing! Sadly, for every business that refuses to pay a bribe, there are 10 waiting in the wings to pay one.

    • Peter Doble says:

      Fully agree. South Africa has created an art form which pollutes the country from top to bottom. And after forming alliances with countries having advanced skills in looting, there is little to no chance of yet more talk shops on corruption, pressure from Raymond Zondo or urging by a member of the British House of Lords making a ripple on the surface.

  • Peter Oosthuizen says:

    “Can I call on the Government?” Lord Peter you must be joking. This is probably the most ineffective so-called government on earth. They don’t know which way is up and any appeal to these idiots is a waste of breath. The looting continues.

  • Johan Buys says:

    The scum both sides need scrubbing. Let’s not fall into the trap of what-about-the-corrupters until at least all the politicians are hung drawn and quartered.

  • Smanga Z says:

    Nailed it. No holy cows. The private sector has been complicit in the plundering. Not only by offering bribes to elected officials but by turning a blind eye when corrupt people splurge ill gotten gains on their products (cars, houses etc). There are many transactions that the private sector simply shouldn’t get involved with, especially knowing that the person they are transaction with can not afford what he is buying based on their financial profile. If a government official whose only source of income is a government salary of R23 000 a month comes to a BMW dealership to by a car that costs 2 million, turn then away if they can not give a satisfactory answer about how they got the cash. Don’t let your business be used to plunder tax payers money

    • Niek Joubert says:

      Corruption in the public sector is a waste of taxpayers’ money. If a public servant cannot be bribed, there cannot be corruption. In the private sector it is shareholders’ money; not the whole population of taxpayers. Shareholders can divest, but if you stop paying tax, you go to jail.

      • Iam Fedup says:

        Niek I agree with your sentiment, but as we showed with toll roads, the government doesn’t have the capability nor the capacity to pursue everyone if we all – including the complicit companies – refused to hand over our taxes. Strangle their resources and they will not survive for 3 months. Pipe dream, of course, but there is a precedent.

    • Jennifer D says:

      Have you ever run a business which relies on government as a customer? Clearly not, because if you had you would know that government officials blatantly demand the back handlers – this is not negotiable. I am not saying it is right to bribe and I myself had years of uphill fighting against taking an easy way out, but we lost more business than I could count because we didn’t take bribes. Their approach is pay me or you don’t get my business and that’s that. This is not about poor little officials with starving children being manipulated, this is about fat cats in big Mercs demanding a cut to upgrade their holiday home.

      • Grumpy Old Man says:

        Jennifer, that was my experience also. Our own Organisation was ‘clean’ but only because we took the decision not to do business with Govt & related entities (you can throw the Unions into that mix also) I would in fact go one step further & say that it was ‘probably impossible’ to do business with ‘Govt’ (in its broader sense) & be clean. The entire procurement system is / was premised on corruption

      • Paul Van Uytrecht says:

        It’s a war. There will be casualties. Ethical behaviour often carries a cost.

  • Jennifer D says:

    Well dear Lord Hains, it’s rather interesting that you fought to get the ANC in power and never bothered to stay the course and make sure they did the job ethically and appropriately. The interference of other countries contrived this outcome – how clever!

  • Iam Fedup says:

    While I often dismiss the naive judgements and hysterical comments made by Peter Hain, I have to agree with him on this. But it is not only global firms that are guilty, as he implies. Many large SA corporations are also complicit in this. I’m calling out the CEOs of banks, insurance companies, retailers, manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and many more, who refuse to even whisper anything when what they see is blatantly wrong, immoral, or even criminal. Instead they appoint “Cororate Affairs” executives to “engage” with this dreadful ANC government, and are therefore in collusion with them just as many German companies in the 1930s and 1940s. OUTA and Afriforum have challenged this criminal dictatorship more publicly – and with a fraction of the resources – with greater success. The time for diplomacy is way past, and companies need to speak out.

  • Denise Smit says:

    And now with the BEEEE regulations, easy tenders are going to loyalists or cadres of the ANC/EFF at inflated prices. What is the difference, it is still corruption legalised. Honest business people are leaving the country. The ANC/EFF thinks financial management and sustainability is a never ending pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, because they have only studies political science and know nothing about money except spending it on expensive cars , clothes and other flashy attention drawing put up shows. They do not know how to budget or save, do not know the concept of living within a budget

  • bigbad jon says:

    Notice how this gent is unable to name the real source of all this corruption? What-aboutism at it’s worst. He’s still in denial about his role in destroying a functioning SA by handing it over to the corrupt ANC!

    • Paul Van Uytrecht says:

      So, what is “the real source of all this corruption”? And, Lord Haynes did not hand over SA to the ANC, the people of SA did in a democratic election. It is now up to the people to boot them out. The alternatives don’t exactly inspire confidence though.

      • Joe Soap says:

        The alternative’s can only be better.

      • bigbad jon says:

        You sound just as naïve as Hain. The real SOURCE of corruption is the ANC of course! The same business community was happy to trade correctly with govt. before 1994. Hain is all too aware of his role in handing over power to the ANC. The sport boycotts in the UK triggered world-wide boycotts which later became commercial boycotts. Then certain american banks pulled the plugs on credit to the SA govt. and it was game over. No matter what the misled, terrified white voters decided at their referendum.

        • Ivan van Heerden says:

          100% and the irony is that the Comrades”” run around orally pleasing the Russians and the Chinese while they actually had very little to do with the end of apartheid. The West is responsible for this mess, the must be so proud.

          And FYI Lord Hain et al, Thabo Mbheki was the actual architect of state capture, without his moronic, racist legislation and forced retrenchment, which gutted the civil service of qualified, dedicated people, State Capture would never have happened.

    • Paul Van Uytrecht says:

      Sorry, Lord Hain.

  • Riaan Joubert says:

    The saying is – it takes two to tango. So just going after the government leader taking bribes is addressing only one side into consideration. The private sector that is willing to pay for favourable outcomes, need to be addressed as well. Any policies that only try to stop the people receiving the money will always fail as long as the payers of the bribes is not stopped as well.
    We have changed into a country of criminals, without penalties for such activities.
    The love of money is the source of all evil.

  • Riaan Joubert says:

    The saying is – it takes two to tango. So just going after the government employee taking bribes is addressing only one side into consideration. The private sector that is willing to pay for favourable outcomes, need to be addressed as well. Any policies that only try to stop the people receiving the money will always fail as long as the payers of the bribes is not stopped as well.
    We have changed into a country of criminals, without penalties for such activities.
    The love of money is the source of all evil.

  • Jon Quirk says:

    The integrity and the parameters of what is possible, are set in any country by the ruling party, the more so when that party, in this case the ANC, believe they have a God-given “right” to power and have been in power for a very long period of time.

    The ANC set about scuttling the Scorpions, eviscerating the police and security services and undoing all the checks and balances that ought to be in place. Then setting about putting the likes of Gupta stooges, the weekend special minister of Finance and the likes of Dudu Myeni into key positions.

    The ANC did all that, Mr Hain – and they did it all by themselves; so yes it takes two to tango, but the orchestra playing, setting the beat and shaping and controlling the tango, was wholly down to the ANC.

    President Ramaphosa promised, at the Zondo Commission and in other forums, to “sort out” the orchestra and arrest the leading culprits – give the ANC Augean Stables, so to speak, a thorough clean-out with disinfectant, such that there was no possibility of any cockroaches surviving – that has patently not happened.

  • Trevor Gray says:

    Absolute truth to power from a man I once despised for his efforts to prevent sport tours. Today I still disagree in that regard but respect him for consistency and awareness.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    The capitalist imperative will always follow the money if allowed to.

    The root cause is that ANC – intentionally or unintentionally (likely both) – does not enforce appropriate governance to prevent businesses doing this. ie. the ANC are either thieves or useless or both (likely both), allowing all sorts of evils in South Africa, not just financial.

  • Rod H MacLeod says:

    We take it, Lord Hain, that when your party forms the next government in the UK, as it will, you will ensure that the UK will use its best efforts to undertake the remedial actions you’re demanding here?

  • Hulme Scholes says:

    Which commercial bank provides banking services to the ANC? They should close all the ANC’s accounts and no other bank should allow the ANC to bank with them. That will be a good start.

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    Peter Hain is raising a well known thing that corruption involves the private sector as a world wide phenomenon. However, the problem is not the involvement of the private sector but the impunity from arrest and prosecution that is the key problem when you deal with corruption that involves the state. We can enumerate a lot of the failures of the criminal justice system and even the complaints of being deliberately under resourced by the NPA by the government. There is a deliberate effort not to prosecute certain cases by the state because they are going to open a can of worms. These issues are not dealt with by Peter Hain and we do not understand the reasons why he ignores this patent reality. The failure by the parliament to process the Zondo Commission recommendations and the executive failure to implement these is a glaring omission because the private sector gets involved in corruption precisely because of two reasons. It is aided and abetted by those in the state that includes the officials and politicians and the question of impunity from prosecution arranged by those within the state. An ethical public service and political leadership is sine quanon and a prerequisite to defeat corruption within the state. The Guptas did not approach people who they did not know that they have a record of corruption. The ANC has provided political cover for corruption and we must never leave out this important aspect.

  • David Katz says:

    There is this picture painted that business is white and government is black. Thanks to our friends the EFF – white monopoly capital. Capital is in the hands of all origins – all types of humans. All these holders of capital need to stop being corrupt, including government.

    • Paul Van Uytrecht says:

      But thanks to apartheid and the failure of the ANC to properly address structural inequalities, capital does remain largely in white hands. It’s unfortunate that we still racialise these things, but it does reflect SA history and reality.

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        There are an awful lot of very rich brothers out there.

        While it is surely fair to say that per capita whites are wealthier, not just as a result of apartheid, but also pre apartheid, as a legacy of winning the wars that provided them dominion over large portions of South African land and assets, I can’t help wondering if today perceptions of total racial wealth distribution are more conjecture than fact.

      • Ben Harper says:

        Hahahahaha – Good one – FALSE

  • Dawn Pretorius says:

    Thank you Peter for this article. It mirrors what I have said in my published book – The Shepherds of Inequality and the Futility of Our Efforts To Stop Them. I contend that our global anti-money laundering initiatives to stop this scourge are ineffective. As you indicate in your article, there is so much done by business, financial institutions and government to facilitate money laundering, corruption, and fraud that it has become an ingrained and accepted way of life. This does indeed seriously affect economies and the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots.

  • Stuart Burnett says:

    No endorsement for an IACC from the Rt Hon Lord David Cameron. What a surprise!

  • Gavin Williams says:

    South Africa is like Nigeria (which I researched from 1965). That is quite unfair on Nigeria and Nigerians. And Brirain is like South Africa; quite appaarent in government contract allocation…
    Gavin Williams

  • Chris Orr says:

    So true!

  • Rae Earl says:

    Lord Hain is urging a cabal of thieving politicians to undermine the very systems they have used and continue to use, to bankrupt their own country. It won’t happen. The ANC is riddled with known thieves and frauds disguised as cabinet ministers and they all receive protection from their boss, Cyril Ramaphosa, in the form of job security. How can he possibly retain the services of corrupted individuals like Bheki Cele and he monstrously stupid and inept clown Fikile Mbalula. The whole set-up is a disgrace to our democracy (or what is left of it). Lord Hain’s intentions are hugely welcome as is his insight and exposure of our problems. Regrettably, he is tilting at windmills.

  • The Stoic, Cynic and Epicurean says:

    Hallelujah Peter Hain! Thank you for raising the matter of corporate complicity in the the state of the economy. I mentioned this in the Daily Investor a few days ago when CEOs were all lining up to have a bash at the ANC, and rightly so. Only now when their bottom lines are hurting do they have something to say. They need to own up to their own misdeeds too, and act rather than stand at a podium during the AGMs and sound like angels, positioning themselves as the saviours reading and waiting to save the country. Some were ANC bed partners before 1994, but it’s not going to great these days.

  • Andrew Cowen says:

    Lord Hain, how are you using your position in the UK’s House of Lords to push the UK Government to ban the companies you mention from being able to solicit and handle government business?

  • Louise Louise says:

    The fish rots from the head. Get rid of the rotting fish’s head and clear out the scum starting from the top and work down.

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