Firm with Gupta links faces US probe

12 September 2017 - 06:43 By Graeme Hosken
Brothers Ajay and Atul Gupta, Oakbay MD Jagdish Parekh and Duduzane Zuma. File photo.
Brothers Ajay and Atul Gupta, Oakbay MD Jagdish Parekh and Duduzane Zuma. File photo.
Image: Martin Rhodes

The international business consultancy group McKinsey could be hauled before the US Justice Department on corruption and bribery charges.

The company is currently doing an internal review of the work its South African arm did for Eskom in conjunction with the the Gupta-linked financial advisory company Trillian Capital.

Trillian Capital acted as McKinsey's BEE partner in South Africa, although McKinsey has denied that Trillian had formally worked for it.

Trillian Capital - which was until recently owned by Gupta ally Salim Essa - was revealed to have received over R250-million from Eskom for work it never did.

Essa recently sold his 60% stake in Trillian Capital to the firm's CEO, Eric Wood.

Last month Eskom admitted that it had lied in its defence of payments totalling R1.6-billion which it made to Trillian and McKinsey.

Corruption Watch director David Lewis - speaking at the Anti-Intimidation and Ethical Practices Forum in Johannesburg on Monday- said his organisation was finalising submissions to the US authorities that would be handed over before the end of the month.

The forum was created to assist people who are being intimidated for exposing workplace corruption.

Lewis said Corruption Watch's submissions would include Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's State of Capture report and a report by advocate Geoff Budlender on his investigations.

Budlender was hired by former Trillian Capital Holdings chairman Tokyo Sexwale to investigate, among other things, allegations that Wood had prior knowledge of the firing by President Jacob Zuma of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

Nene's firing resulted in the economy losing billions of rands in investments.

Budlender found that Trillian had received payments of more than R250-million from Eskom for work it had not done. He said Trillian's management had obstructed his investigation.

Lewis said Corruption Watch had been approached by a number of whistleblowers "who have provided us with significant information on allegations of serious corruption and bribery.

"We are currently dealing with lawyers in the US about our submissions, which will include the reports and the whistleblowers' information.

"This information will all be passed on to the US Justice Department, which we want to investigate McKinsey for corruption and bribery.

"We believe that McKinsey paid multimillion bribes to secure their Eskom contracts."