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Bain quits Business Leadership SA so as to not 'distract' from the group's work


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Bain quits Business Leadership SA so as to not 'distract' from the group's work

18th January 2022

By: News24Wire


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The disgraced local unit of US management consultancy Bain and Company has voluntarily quit Business Leadership SA (BLSA) over the work it did for the SA Revenue Service (SARS) at the height of State capture. 

In a statement on Tuesday, Bain South Africa said its membership of the business lobby group should not "distract from the important work BLSA does on behalf of the business community for the good of South Africa".


"We accept that through various lapses in leadership and governance, Bain South Africa became an unwitting participant in a process that inflicted serious damage on the South African Revenue Service, for which we apologise."

Bain was previously suspended as a BLSA member in September 2018. It re-admitted in April last year after the company repaid the tax agency the R164-million it earned from work it did at SARS, plus interest. At the time it also took other steps, including new risk protocols and a leadership changes.


'Unwitting participant' 

The State Capture Inquiry's first report, released this month, was scathing in its assessment of Bain's consultancy work for SARS. The inquiry's chair, and acting Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo, wants law enforcement agencies to investigate how contracts were awarded to the firm.

On Tuesday, Bain reiterated it is confident it did not "wilfully or knowingly support state capture at SARS or elsewhere".

"We have noted the findings of Part I of the Zondo Commission’s report. Bain is supportive of the Zondo Commission and its work, as well as its important role in helping to end the damaging effects of corruption in South Africa. We are, however, disappointed that Part I of the commission’s report mischaracterises Bain’s role at SARS," it said. 

In addition to denying that it willfully supported State capture, the management consultancy said the report relied too heavily on the account of a single individual. 

"The individual was not a Bain employee at the time of the SARS work, which ran from 2015 to 2017. He rejoined the firm in 2019 after having left in 2010."

The inquiry found that Bain knew about the appointment of former commissioner Tom Moyane before it was announced, and that Bain's former managing partner, Vittorio Massone, had frequent meetings with ex president Jacob Zuma.

The inquiry found that Bain and Moyane did "detailed planning" for a proposed restructuring at the tax agency "before they even stepped foot into SARS". This restructuring damaged SARS and lead to the resignations of a number of senior officials and the dismantling of key units.

A BLSA spokesperson said the group would be releasing a statement on Tuesday. 


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