🔒 Exposed: Bain & Co developed strategy to corrupt SARS

EDINBURGH — KPMG was not the only global consultancy involved in the rogue SARS report that brought down corruption-busting finance minister Pravin Gordhan. New evidence reveals that Bain & Co were actively working on cleaning out the South African Revenue Service of employees likely to stand in the way of its greed and graft. Scorpio, the investigative journalism unit attached to the Daily Maverick, has been uncovering how Bain & Co played a master mind role in state capture and corruption. – Jackie Cameron

By Thulasizwe Sithole

Multinational consulting firm Bain & Co has been exposed as a key player in the political scandal that brought down president Jacob Zuma.

The Daily Maverick’s Scorpio investigative journalism unit has lifted the lid on how its management consultants developed and the executed a strategy to remove people who were in the way of Zuma and his friends implementing a state capture plan. This helped Bain & Co generate huge sums.

The Bain & Co consultants “celebrated when Tom Moyane succeeded in pushing SARS Chief Operating Officer Barry Hore out in December 2014”, reports Scorpio.

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“It was an event Vittorio Massone’s team at Bain & Co seems to have planned and hoped for. Without key figures in SARS – such as Hore – holding the line, Bain created the perception with Moyane that its services were desperately needed.”

Tom Moyane, SARS, Nugent Commission
Still Banging On. More of Zapiro’s brilliant work available at www.zapiro.com.

The company, says Scorpio, then received an illegal tender to do what they have planned for over a year: Restructure SARS and bill the taxpayer R187-million to do so.

The journalists have outlined how Massone knew in advance Moyane would become SARS head and Bain would get restructuring contract.

An email from Bain & Co’s server suggests that the firm’s local head Vittorio Massone and his team celebrated the shock resignation of SARS Chief Officer Barry Hore in December 2014,” reports Scorpio.

Goodbye Barry Hore…”, wrote Fabrice Franzen in an email time-stamped at 06:11 on the morning of 3 December 2014.

Franzen, explains Scorpio, is a partner in Bain’s Johannesburg office, heading the firm’s financial services practice, the company’s website states. Franzen reacted to an alert from SARS notifying the private sector that Hore has resigned.

Franzen sent the email to Massone, who replied later that morning:

Now I’m scared by Tom… This guy [Hore] was supposed to be untouchable and it took Tom just a few weeks to make him resign…Scary…”

Since late 2013, Bain had been coaching Tom Moyane into believing that SARS had “key strategic concerns” to correct and individuals unwilling to co-operate to “neutralise”.

“SARS’ modernisation and IT programmes were two key sectors that, in Bain’s opinion, were in dire need of some Bain magic. Yet, by 2013, SARS had won international and local accolades for being an exemplary revenue collector. First World countries sought SARS’ advice; the American revenue collector signed a collaboration agreement with SARS; and the revenue service was a leading light in Africa,” writes Scorpio.

Bain colluded with Moyane on how to “transform” SARS more than a year before they received the possibly illegal tender to do so, allege the journalists.

In a document titled “First 100 days”, Bain advises Moyane on the key changes he needed to make in SARS, reports the investigative unit.

Days after Moyane was appointed in September 2014, the first fake “SARS rogue unit” article appeared in the Sunday Times, it continues.

“The plethora of articles from the Sunday Times provided to Moyane the moral high ground to neutralise then deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay, head of strategy Peter Richer and head of investigations Johann van Loggerenberg on the grounds that they were involved in nefarious activities. It did not matter to Moyane that these officials were fairly removed from the day-to-day operations of the unit described as being ‘rogue’.”

Two years later, in 2016, the Sunday Times had to retract and apologise after repeatedly being misled by their sources, add the journalists.

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