'We didn't say sorry quickly & clearly enough'

McKinsey's Kevin Sneader says the company should have communicated well enough to show how serious it was taking the issue of state capture and how sorry it was for its involvement.

FILE: McKinsey & Company. Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - Global Consultancy Firm McKinsey has apologised to South Africa for its handling of business with Eskom, saying it was slow to admit wrongdoing.

The company, together with Gupta linked Trillian Capital, were contracted to affect a turnaround strategy at the power utility. It received R1 billion while Trillian pocketed R600 million.

The firm has now paid back R902 million of the R1 billion that Eskom awarded it in 2016.

McKinsey has admitted that it failed to follow its own procedures while doing business with Eskom when it worked alongside Trillian Capital.

The company’s global managing partner Kevin Sneader was speaking at the Gordon Institute of Business Science on Monday.

“We did not admit where we were wrong. And worse, we did not say sorry quickly enough and clearly enough.”

He says the company should have communicated well enough to show how serious it was taking the issue of state capture and how sorry it was for its involvement.

The company says its mistakes had a significant material effect on its business.

‘NO EVIDENCE OF CORRUPTION’

Despite apologising for its role in state capture, McKinsey insists there is no evidence to prove the company has been involved in corrupt activity.

Sneader says they shouldn’t have trusted Trillian Capital.

“The due diligence should have been completed before any work started. We were so focused on delivering our work that we did not focus enough on the broader risks. That was wrong. We deeply regret that mistake.”

He says while the company’s internal investigations show that the firm failed to follow its own due processes, it found no evidence that it engaged in corrupt activity during its dealings with Eskom and Trillian.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)