'Corporates have to feel the pain', says Lord Hain on his Bain win

| Bongani Bingwa spoke exclusively to British politician and anti-apartheid fighter, Lord Peter Hain on the UK government's suspension of Bain & Company from public contracts.

Former British politician Lord Peter Hain testifying at the Zondo Commission on 18 November 2019. Picture: SABC Digital News/YouTube.com

Governments can no longer turn a blind eye to the brazen corruption and looting in the private sector by the infamous Gupta family, under President Jacob Zuma in South Africa.

So said British politician and anti-apartheid fighter, Lord Peter Hain, in the wake of the UK government's decision to suspend global management consulting firm Bain & Company from public contracts.

Last year, Hain wrote to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding that the UK and US governments freeze all state contracts with Bain and bar them from entering any new contracts.

Hain's plea follows the Zondo Commission's enquiry into State Capture, which revealed the grand scale of money-laundering and fraud involving taxpayers' money during the tenure of Zuma, through UK banks.

The commission found that Bain had conspired and colluded with Zuma and former South African Revenue Service (Sars) head Tom Moyane to undermine the capabilities of the revenue service, in exchange for R164 million.

Bain's involvement in Sars was deemed unlawful by the commission.

It's estimated the full cost of the Zuma state capture era amounts to a monumental R1.5 trillion.

Bongani Bingwa spoke exclusively to Lord Hain about this significant breakthrough.

I don't think the UK government should give any company a government contract when that company has behaved unlawfully and unethically, even in another country.

Lord Peter Hain, British politician and anti-apartheid fighter

Rather to my surprise, a UK cabinet minister agreed with the evidence I submitted. I took along Bain whistleblower Athol Williams to meet him who could provide the links between Bain SA and Bain in London, to show they were intertwined in that terrible episode under President Zuma's tutelage, in which Bain helped dismember the South African Revenue Service and opened the door to tax fraud.

Lord Peter Hain, British politician and anti-apartheid fighter

As a brand with an extensive global reach, there's no doubt this will have far reaching consequences for the company.

Hain has called on the US government to follow suit and has already engaged US government officials to act against the company.

These corporates who made possible the looting and money laundering in the country, have to feel the pain somewhere. It's been a hard grind, but I feel very strongly that these international corporates have to realise if they do something wrong, then other governments of the world should have nothing do with them.

Lord Peter Hain, British politician and anti-apartheid fighter

Billions were laundered abroad, some of them transferred to front companies that the Gupta family and its associates set up with the assistance of accountants and lawyers. This money then disappeared into offshore bank accounts.

Part of the problem for authorities has been to determine exactly where the money was siphoned to.

Governments say they are opposed to corruption, like US and the UK. But it was London headquartered operations such as HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, through which the money was laundered in their digital pipelines out of Johannesburg, through Dubai, to Hong Kong, India and into British offshore tax havens. It becomes very difficult to trace it.

Lord Peter Hain, British politician and anti-apartheid fighter

So governments need to walk the walk, because trillions of US dollars are laundered every year. This has to be an intergovernmental priority. I want to see the US, UK, Dubai, China UAE and Indian government working together to stop this, otherwise there will be more state capture.

Lord Peter Hain, British politician and anti-apartheid fighter

Scroll up for the full interview.

This article first appeared on 702 : 'Corporates have to feel the pain', says Lord Hain on his Bain win

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