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McKinsey & Co. Joins Firms Ensnared in South Africa’s Graft Probe

One of the world’s biggest management consultancy firms, this week humbled itself before a South African judicial inquiry into government-related graft. The firm pledged to return $43 million in fees to Transnet, the state logistics company, and South African Airways. That money came from joint contracts with a firm linked to the Gupta brothers, who have been accused of influencing South African government appointments for their own gain and have refused to return from Dubai to face corruption charges. McKinsey’s chief risk officer, Jean-Christophe Mieszala, testified before the commission, admitting mistakes and to “terminating” employees for their role. He didn’t admit corruption on behalf of McKinsey. McKinsey has paid before. In 2018, it returned 1 billion rand to the state power utility, Eskom, for participating in similarly tainted compacts. It no longer accepts lucrative contracts to help South African state companies and has declined to say what is left of the rest of its business in Africa’s most-industrialized nation.