I don’t know about you, but I’m getting sick and tired of reading Gupta leaks about how the ruling party has let a corrupt and politically connected family, who were not even South African a few years ago, brazenly steal from a long list of state-owned entities for the benefit of their back pocket.
I’m tired of hearing how the ruling party – the same ruling party that astonishingly gave us Nelson Mandela and the rainbow nation – lay prostrate, and offered little or no resistance to the systematic plunder of state resources, which has been breath-taking in its scope and co-ordination.
And lastly, I’m feeling a little bit sick of the inaction of law enforcement agencies and their most pathetic of leaders (that’s you, Shaun Abrahams) to investigate these people and bring them to book, despite the evidence mounting on a daily basis that suggests the African National Congress is nothing more than a front for the most organised crime syndicate in the southern hemisphere (step aside, Brazil).
Fortunately, outside of the captured, civil society has been more than forthright in condemning what has happened, and this has even extended to members of the alliance (even though the condemnation rings hollow when none of those doing the condemning have seen it fit to resign from their cushy jobs as ministers and deputy ministers).
But the anger and indignation reached new levels when it was revealed that global multi-national brands that includes the likes of KPMG, Bell Pottinger, McKinsey and SAP, have enabled and abetted state capture. KPMG, McKinsey and SAP have all denied any wrong doing.
As opposed to conflicted and incompetent politicians that owe their professional careers solely to the vagaries of Number 1, these companies are apparently staffed and led by people who are highly qualified and highly paid. And who should have known better.
And yet when they have been outed, they stand behind the veneer of knowing there is a president in charge of the captured state that is going to do everything in his power to prevent any real investigation of what has happened from occurring. Thereby letting them off the hook while they maintain their innocence.
This has to end. If corporate South Africa wants to avoid looking like hypocrites, someone needs to show leadership and apply some pressure. A call by Business Leadership South Africa (which represents the eighty largest listed companies in South Africa) and Business Unity South Africa (representing virtually every business in the country through its umbrella association) – endorsed by their respective memberships – for companies fingered in the Gupta leaks to comply with a full, independent investigation led by a capable, well resourced, and unconflicted law firm into what has happened, or risk being boycotted, would go some way to cleaning the private sector’s own shop.
If the companies choose not to participate, and a boycott is endorsed, the collective loss of business, would, in my opinion, force them to effectively withdraw from the country. And good riddance.
We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. It’s time to do something about it, and hurt those implicated where it counts – on their bottom line.
Neither Business Leadership South Africa nor BUSA were available for comment at the time of going to press.