McKinsey repayment does not let them off the hook

Issued by Natasha Mazzone MP – DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
10 Jul 2018 in News

The DA notes reports that the international consultancy firm McKinsey & Company  has repaid Eskom R902 million in connection to dubious consulting fees linked to Gupta-owned Trillian Capital Partners.

Had the DA not caught Eskom out in a lie by submitting a Parliamentary question to the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, regarding the relationship between Eskom, McKinsey and Trillian, neither Eskom nor McKinsey would have come clean and the money would not have been repaid.

While McKinsey has apologised, they maintain that they did not engage in any corrupt activities. The DA simply cannot accept this half-hearted apology. The mere fact that they have repaid the money should be viewed as an admission of guilt.

In September 2017, the DA laid charges (Case Number: CAS 1156/9/2017) of fraud, racketeering and collusion against McKinsey in terms of Section 21 of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act (Act 12 of 2004).

McKinsey allegedly ignored red flags from senior South African staff members that deals between Trillian, Eskom and other Gupta-linked companies were not above board. McKinsey seems to have ignored these warnings as the profits were far too lucrative for McKinsey to pass up.

The DA calls on the South African Police Services to provide the public with a full update on the progress of their investigation.

Furthermore, questions need to be asked about how committed McKinsey truly is to taking ownership of the damage this saga has caused Eskom and, indeed, South Africa. One of the partners who masterminded the dodgy Eskom/Trillian contracts, Alexander Weiss, is still working with the firm while the other, Vikas Sagar, was allowed to simply move on.

The company’s repayment to Eskom also does not include accrued interest of approximately R320 million and amounts to little more than McKinsey trying to buy absolution.

McKinsey should not be let off the hook. The company must be held accountable for what seems to be a clear violation of the law and, if McKinsey is truly sorry for the immense damage it has done to South Africa, it should commit to fully cooperate with the country’s law enforcement agencies. South Africa has never and will never be for sale.