Paul O’Sullivan pens letter to McKinsey: ‘Come clean, or I turn up the heat!’

JOHANNESBURG — The latest major global news feature on McKinsey’s woes in South Africa was published in the New York Times this week. And it’s pretty clear that the consultancy firm’s problems are far from over. New revelations reveal that certain staff within McKinsey South Africa saw several problems with the company’s corrupt contract with Eskom from early on. Yet the main bosses kept on trucking. Investigative sleuth Paul O’Sullivan has subsequently sent a letter to McKinsey Africa’s boss Saf Yeboah. You can read an edited-down version of the full letter below. – Gareth van Zyl

By Paul O’Sullivan

Good day Saf.

As you can see the sordid truth is finally coming out. I have to admit to assisting NYT with stories to expose corruption in SA and will continue doing so, until the truth is fully ventilated.

Investigative sleuth Paul O’Sullivan

As you are no doubt aware, my stance against corruption and State Capture led to multiple unlawful arrests and torture, multiple raids on my offices and even the kidnapping of my staff. Two of my minor children, aged 7 and 8, were dragged off a London bound plane with me, on 2016-04-01. I hold all those engaged in State Capture, jointly and severally liable for such conduct.

You can see for yourself what I had to say about Hogan Lovells, your stablemates in that fine building in Johannesburg, fitted out with my taxes. I have attached my letter to them, which they have chosen not to respond to, preferring instead to bad-mouth me and Lord Hain in the media.

I am now of the opinion, that your so-called half-day workshop to suggest best practices in fighting corruption, was nothing more than a half-baked attempt at reducing the damage to your reputation. In that invitation mail you alluded to:

We have also had a small McKinsey team look into successful efforts fighting corruption globally, to identify best practices that could apply in South Africa.

Frankly, inviting the victims of the crime of State Capture to come and get advice on how to fight corruption, is worse than having the mice guard the cheese.

What bothers me more, is that when we met I asked you why you had not opened criminal dockets against the McKinsey employees that committed the fraud. Your rather lame answer was that ‘We want to, but our lawyers tell us they did not commit any offence.’ You did not give me the name of the lawyers, but I am now left believing it must have been Hogan Lovells, or someone trained by them to obfuscate the truth and deliver consultation outputs the client wants to hear.


I’m going to give your firm another month to come clean and start making reparations, or I am going to ramp up the pressure, for what your firm has done in our country.

Read also: Man in the middle: Gupta aide Santosh Choubey pops up in SAP, McKinsey sagas

Come clean and start a reparation process, or I will do all that I can lawfully do, to have your office in Johannesburg shut down, before turning my attention to your global head office. I am currently researching the possibility of asking the US Congress to bring an amendment to the Magnitsky Act, to focus on sanctioning of those engaged in State Capture and the perpetration of Human Rights abuses in South Africa, to protect the criminals that were to be exposed. Hogan Lovells and McKinsey would be in my sights for that.

We will shortly be requesting Lord Hain to ask further questions in the UK’s upper house, aimed at exposing the movement of McKinsey monies globally, particularly monies that go through London.