Daily Maverick | Michael Marchant |15 December 2020 |
The Zondo Commission has a vital role to play in advancing the public’s understanding of private corporations’ role in State Capture. It is the commission’s duty and well within its powers to compel banking executives, lawyers, consultants and auditors to appear before it and answer questions about their roles in State Capture. So far, with some limited exceptions, this has not happened in any meaningful way.
Last week, the Zondo Commission released a gushing statement praising global consulting giant McKinsey & Company for agreeing to pay back fees it had earned from “tainted” contracts with Transnet and SAA.
Chairperson Justice Raymond Zondo commended McKinsey for being a “responsible corporate citizen” and an example that other companies which benefited from dodgy State Capture contracts should follow. The reality is more complicated.
Firms like McKinsey see fee repayment as damage control and a way of dousing further scrutiny of their complicity in State Capture. However, for all corporations that enabled and profited from State Capture — especially the banks, management consultancies, law firms and audit firms who made a mint from years of grand corruption — paying back the fees should be the bare minimum.