'UK govt set precedent with Bain ban' but 'SA lacks the moral courage to act'

| Bruce Whitfield interviews UK MP and anti-apartheid activist Lord Peter Hain, and Bain whistleblower Athol Williams.

- The British government has announced a three-year ban on new public contracts for Bain & Co

- The global management consulting firm is implicated in state capture at the South African Revenue Service

A composite of screengrabs of British MP Lord Peter Hain  and former Bain partner Athol Williams giving evidence at the state capture inquiry on 24 March 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

The UK government has finally taken action against Bain & Company, deciding to suspend the global management consulting firm from public contracts.

The three-year ban is due to Bain's role in facilitating state capture at the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

It follows a campaign by South African-born anti-apartheid activist and UK MP, Lord Peter Hain.

Bain has said it will "take the matter under review".

RELATED: Lord Peter Hain: UK govt must cut ties with SA State Capture-linked Bain&Co

The decision has been welcomed by whistleblower and former Bain senior partner Athol Williams, with some reservations about his own government's "inaction".

For more detail read the BBC article Bain consultancy banned from government work over 'misconduct'.

RELATED: BLSA showing SA the middle finger by defending Bain - Athol Williams

Global corporates like them have to feel the pain for the consequences of their corrupt and unlawful behaviour in South Africa’s state capture and corruption scandal under former President Zuma. Otherwise other corporates will be tempted to do the same.

Lord Peter Hain, British MP

Bruce Whitfield talks to both Lord Peter Hain and Atholl Williams on The Money Show.

The last time Williams spoke to The Money Show he was in hiding, in fear for his life.

Lord Hain says he was actually taken by surprise with the British government's announcement after his long campaign.

Dealing with a government that hasn't really shown much interest in these kinds of things in Britain I was really pleasantly surprised, almost taken aback...

Lord Peter Hain, British MP

...because this has set a precedent for a British government and I hope that it will send a message to, not just Bain, but other corporates who've been implicated in this terrible looting and corruption and state capture under former president Zuma... There's enough of it still going on now.

Lord Peter Hain, British MP

Athol Williams played a very valuable part in the meeting [with Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg] and giving evidence that Rees-Mogg asked for.

Lord Peter Hain, British MP

Bain's existing contracts with the British government will continue and he says he won't quibble over that.

"What's important to me is this has not happened before."

The British MP says he is pressing for US President Joe Biden to take similar steps, through the US ambassador to London.

Williams says Bain should face harsher sanctions in the UK.

At the same time, he affirms that he has still received "absolutely no support" from South Africa's government or the local business community.

My emails to the Presidency, to the DG, the Minister, continue to go unanswered, so nothing's changed.

Athol Williams, Whistleblower and former senior partner - Bain & Co

We haven't come **close** to justice being served. This is a great move for our efforts towards justice but this does not constitute justice by any means.

Athol Williams, Whistleblower and former senior partner - Bain & Co

The UK government acted in solidarity with South Africa, which is fantastic, but actually they've taken what happened... as a warning and this is what myself and Lord Peter Hain were able to communicate to them - that the very people who had ripped apart SA State institutions are now people working in **your** government Mr UK government minister!

Athol Williams, Whistleblower and former senior partner - Bain & Co

Williams says it's now time for Pretoria to also take action for the good of South African people, but to date they've been silent, "lacking the moral courage to do anything".

Does he feel then that the strong criticism in the Zondo report and the recommendation for a police probe is not being taken seriously?

"If they are taking action I'm curious to see what happens, but certainly I've had no contact from them at all."

The fact that not a single government entity or business entity wants to even speak to me, let alone support me...that years after the Nugent Commission and after the Zondo Commission started there's been no action against Bain (and the UK government took a decision within a matter of days)... must absolutely tell you... that government has no political will to do anything, probably because they've got a lot of reasons to hide what happened.

Athol Williams, Whistleblower and former senior partner - Bain & Co

Scroll up to listen to the interviews with Williams and Lord Hain

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'UK govt set precedent with Bain ban' but 'SA lacks the moral courage to act'

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