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Private Firms Named as Enablers of South Africa’s State Capture

Global consultancy Bain & Co. and Nedbank Group Ltd., South Africa’s fifth-largest lender, denied willfully facilitating or being party to corruption after a judicial inquiry found their conduct wanting in their dealings with state-owned firms.  A panel, headed by Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, concluded in the first of a three-part report that the state was “captured” during former President Jacob Zuma’s rule, with top government officials and the private sector colluding to loot taxpayer funds. The report was published earlier this week after more than three years of testimony from hundreds of witnesses. Bain was implicated in misconduct related to its dealings with the South African Revenue Service.  The commission separately noted that some transactions involving the processing of billions of rands worth of interest-swap agreements that were entered into between Nedbank and Airports Company South Africa, which operates the nation’s main airports, were “disturbing.” Both Bain and Nedbank pledged to continue cooperating with authorities.