Future SA supports AFU actions against Gupta-linked firms

Future South Africa welcomes the Asset Forfeiture Unit’s (AFU) action against Gupta-linked company Trillian, and consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

Yesterday, news broke that the AFU would serve copies of a preservation order to the two firms to freeze the nearly R1.6 billion that they extracted from Eskom without a valid contract.
FutureSA Convenor, Mandla Nkomfe, said that it was “a step in the right the direction”. “We are finally seeing the state starting to take action against Gupta-linked entities embroiled in questionable deals that have simply extracted funds from our country’s coffers. It is about time the state starts recovering monies diverted from the fiscus and ensuring that these be used towards ensuring better services for the people of South Africa.

“Despite issues at the National Prosecuting Authority, the net seems to slowly be closing in on those who have furthered the state capture project. We hope that this lays the basis for prosecution and arrests of individuals from both the private sector and state utilities embroiled in the Eskom/Trillian/ McKinsey deal, as well as those involved in the state capture project as a whole. We think that there is enough evidence out in the public domain to prosecute in a number of these scandals. The country’s law enforcement agencies must act,” Nkomfe said.

“We also acknowledge the role played by SAFTU for laying charges against Trillian and for working with the AFU on the issue, as well as the role played by OUTA, the Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa and other civil society formations.”

McKinsey and Trillian both have 90 days to prove whether they are the lawful owners of the money gained out of the Eskom deal. “We hope that honesty will prevail and the companies will publicly admit to their unethical business practices in obtaining the funds from Eskom. If they try to do otherwise, they must expect continued pressure from civil society and the public in general,” Nkomfe stated.

Last year, FutureSA organised a picket outside McKinsey’s offices in Sandton following details how it landed a deal that saw it and Trillian, its local business partner, score almost R1.6 billion rand from Eskom for just six months of work done under a contract that allegedly contravenes the Public Finance Management Act.

“While McKinsey has indicated that it had ring-fenced the R1 billion it had scored to be paid back, it did little to admit its own wrong-doing in the Eskom deal. We hope that the AFU’s action will finally prompt McKinsey to be frank and come clean about the details and scope of its dealings with Eskom and Trillian. We also hope that Trillian, who have been very quiet since yesterday’s announcement by the NPA, can tell the people of South Africa the details about their role in the deal,” Nkomfe stated.

“We would also like to commend Coca Cola and Sasol, who a few days ago cut ties with McKinsey. Such action will go a long way in putting pressure on the firm to disclose its full involvement in the Eskom saga,” he said.

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