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

11 January 2022 6:43 PM
Tags:
State Capture
SARS
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Business Leadership South Africa
Whistleblower
state capture report
BLSA
Commission of Inquiry into State Capture
Zondo commission
bain
Bain & Co
Busi Mavuso
Athol Williams

The Money Show interviews state capture whistleblower Athol Williams about Business Leadership SA's stance despite Zondo findings.
A screengrab of former Bain partner Athol Williams giving evidence at the state capture inquiry on 24 March 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

The release last week of the first part of the State Capture Inquiry report is an important moment for our democracy, says Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA).

International consulting firm Bain & Company features large in the section devoted to the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

RELATED: State Capture report: 'Critical that recommendations are implemented'

So why does BLSA continue to defend the company? asks Athol Williams, state capture whistleblower and former senior partner at Bain.

In September last year, Williams was questioning why the association had re-admitted Bain after suspending it in 2018 for its alleged role in capturing the state.

RELATED: Athol Williams: On what basis did BLSA let Bain & Co slip back into the fold?

Former British MP and anti-apartheid activist Peter Hain has called on the UK to freeze all government contracts with Bain following the release of the Zondo Commission's report.

What BLSA should have said, he told The Money Show on Monday, is "we will not associate ourselves with this kind of behaviour".

CEO Busi Mavuso states in a BLSA newsletter that “the work the firm undertook to redeem itself ultimately satisfied the board that it qualified to be readmitted.”

"However, we support the Commission’s recommendation for appropriate investigation of Bain’s public sector contracts in general and the contracts with SARS in particular" she adds.

We fool ourselves thinking state capture is thing of the past - Athol Williams

In an article published by Business Day, Williams says this is not good enough.

BLSA wants us to take comfort in the fact that there is now an “increased level of oversight by Bain & Company international” — the very people who appointed, endorsed and celebrated Vittorio Massone [former SA managing partner], and who are currently running an elaborate cover-up.

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

Bruce Whitfield interviews Williams on The Money Show.

[on his self-imposed exile] Intelligence I'm getting is that my risk has just gone up because I continue to be the primary actor in pointing out the complicity of business in what Bain has done, but in the broader state capture project.

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

The fact that now the Zondo Commission has said that we should go and re-examine all of Bain's... contracts means that we are going to unearth even more dirt, but also more enemies for me.

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

Williams feels BLSA has undone all of the trust that large businesses have forged with South African society in recent times.

He compares the association's outlook to that of apartheid apologists.

What does anyone say after committing an atrocity? They say 'don't look back, the past is behind us!'... BLSA completely ignoring the fact that Bain has damaged Sars and made no amends for it, that they've damaged our society and made no amends for it...

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

This decision raises serious suspicions and ethical questions about how CEOs in South Africa see themselves in relation to the rest of us. Do they see themselves apart from us or with us, because they certainly seem to be acting against us with this decision.

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

Listen to Williams' passionate argument in the audio below:




11 January 2022 6:43 PM
Tags:
State Capture
SARS
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Business Leadership South Africa
Whistleblower
state capture report
BLSA
Commission of Inquiry into State Capture
Zondo commission
bain
Bain & Co
Busi Mavuso
Athol Williams

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