Bain never transparent with Nugent Commission, Zondo Inquiry told

Bain, the US-based management consultancy firm, was appointed by former Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane to develop an operating model but is accused of playing a major role in the affairs of the Sars during the years of state capture.

A screengrab of former Bain partner Athol Williams giving evidence at the state capture inquiry on 23 March 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Former Bain partner Athol Williams said that the company was never transparent with the Nugent Commission, which investigated the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

Williams was testifying at the state capture commission.

He took the stand after the company made an application to release an affidavit responding to his testimony.

Bain, the US-based management consultancy firm, was appointed by former Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane to develop an operating model but is accused of playing a major role in the affairs of the Sars during the years of state capture.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said that he would give his ruling on Wednesday on whether Bain could publish its affidavit responding to Williams and if it could cross-examine him.

But the commission also asked the company why it was not also applying to testify.

Williams said that he was appointed to oversee investigations at the revenue authority.

"There was no handbook I could go to, there was no training on how to provide oversight for investigation but the intent was clear, the intent was 'Athol, we want to do the right thing here, we'll give you access to Baker McKenzie is doing, you'll have meetings with him, you can see the documents...'"

He said that he never received reports from the company as had been promised.

Williams told the state capture commission about Bain being used to organise meetings between security establishments in South Africa and Italy.

He highlighted a number of irregularities, including the appointment of artists Duma Ndlovu and Mandla Kanozulu, to advise the company on what it called procurement intelligence.

Williams said that company Ambrobrite scored a consulting contract for R3.6 million to advise Bain.

But he was concerned that it was doing work that the country has the Department of International Relations for.

"Bain is arranging a meeting between senior South African police officials, including generals... there's General Zulu, the head of special projects for SAPS, General Naidoo, the head of Interpol in SAPS and senior police officials in the Italian police service."

The company also paid for a party of the ANC Youth League.

"So its R50,000 for a party that Bain is paying for and in the email Mr Kanozulu invites Mr Massone to the party but Mr Massone said that he could not make it... Mr Massone writing that it would be great to greet the new Youth League head when he's in Joburg."

Williams said that Bains had become a consultancy of choice for former President Jacob Zuma.

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