Boston consultancy turned power broker, then pariah, in South Africa

“I fear we are trading short-term access for long-term issues,” Ms Miller wrote in an internal email in 2014. She wrote that Bain was tr...


“I fear we are trading short-term access for long-term issues,” Ms Miller wrote in an internal email in 2014.

She wrote that Bain was trying to recover his reputation after the 2012 presidential election, when Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, has been criticized for his work at the consulting firm. Ms Miller, who has since left Bain, did not respond to a request for comment.

Internal Bain presentations, given to the commission as evidence, show that the company presented proposals to Mr. Zuma to restructure other state agencies, such as those that oversee communications and energy, so that Mr. Zuma would have direct control over them. According to the Judiciary Committee, this could violate South African laws which prohibit the head of state from directly controlling state enterprises.

Mr. Massone and Mr. Zuma met 17 times from 2012 to 2014. The commission’s report suggested that those meetings, and the fact that Bain knew who would become the new head of the tax agency – Tom Moyane – before it is made public, were evidence of a plan between the consulting firm and the presidency to infiltrate the tax department “and cause damage to the institution”.

Bain helped groom Mr. Moyane, a Zuma loyalist, to take over the tax agency as the new commissioner. Mr. Moyane is blamed for destabilizing the agency and losing millions of dollars in tax revenue.

At the time, Mr. Zuma was facing charges of tax evasion, and the first order of business was to “neutralize” tax service employees considered to be obstacles, according to evidence presented during the investigation. The investigative report describes Bain’s work with Mr. Moyane as “one of the clearest displays of state capture”, a term used to describe politically connected individuals and corporations who enrich themselves through to state agencies.

Mr. Zuma was forced to resign in 2018, after Cyril Ramaphosa became the leader of the ruling African National Congress. Promising to root out corruption, Mr. Ramaphosa quickly fired Mr. Moyane. Mr. Moyane did not respond to a request for comment.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Boston consultancy turned power broker, then pariah, in South Africa
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