The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism Investigator Susan Comrie.
Comrie distilled the biggest revelations from the #GuptaLeaks.
Estina, KPMG and the wedding expenses
The Free State Government gave Estina, an unknown company, free land to empower locals.
It also promised it R114 million in funding without a tender.
It ended up handing over R210 million.
The Guptas denied involvement – we now know they lied.
What happened to the money?
R84 million was diverted to Dubai – only R1.7 million was used to buy dairy equipment; the rest was laundered through various Gupta-linked companies before coming back to South Africa.
R30 million was sent back to Linkway to pay for the Gupta’s wedding.
Examples of expenses include R2.3 million for scarves and R250 000 for fireworks.
Meanwhile, Estina’s sick, malnourished cows were dying and discarded in a ditch.
Linkway claimed the wedding expenses as a business expense, avoiding tax of roughly R8 million.
A junior auditor at KPMG red flagged this but was overruled.
Meanwhile KPMG’s then chief executive Moses Kgosana was busy sending gushing emails to the Guptas about the wedding, calling it “the event of the millennium”.
Kgosana has decided not to take up his post at Alexander Forbes and the IRBA (Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors) has taken the initiative to institute their own investigation into KPMG’s 2014 audit of Linkway.
McKinsey and Trillian
There was a contract of, roughly, R1 billion for McKinsey from Eskom with 30% subcontracted to Trillian Management Consulting.
McKinsey viewed their partnership with Trillian as an “unwanted piece of baggage”, “is only around for the 30%”, “in return for not much work”.
Eskom and Lynne Brown have previously denied any payment was made.
Yet invoices show at least R266 million paid to Trillian – but that excludes another R153 million invoice that amaBhungane is aware of.
McKinsey South Africa Director Vikas Sagar has been suspended and McKinsey is investigating.
Parliament wants to know why Lynne Brown lied about payments to Trillian.
SAP and Sahara
About R100 million was paid by SAP to a small outpost of the Gupta Empire that sells 3D printers.
There was a last minute sales commission agreement where CAD House would get 10% of the R100 million contract if they were the “effective cause” of SAP receiving the contract from Transnet.
SAP claims they hired CAD House because of their intimate knowledge of Transnet’s business –Transnet says they have never done business with CAD House.
SAP says CAD House was also chosen because they could produce 3D models of their software solution (plastic models for R10 million?)
Contracts account for R10 million, but amaBhungane knows of R100 million in payments.
SAP says if there are other commissions there are other customers.
Evidence strongly suggests CAD House was used as a front by the Guptas as over 90% of the money was quickly transferred out of CAD House’s account and paid to Sahara and various companies within the Guptas orbit.
Sexual harassment of staff
The #GuptaLeaks unearthed evidence suggesting that, on top of everything else, the Gupta brothers may have repeatedly sexually harassed female staff members and made cash pay-outs to buy their silence.
At least three female employees that used to work for the Guptas claim that they were sexually harassed, touched inappropriately, and intimidated by two of the Gupta brothers.
Two said they were paid off after these incidents.
The firm always maintained that Oakbay Investment was their client.
However, they were clearly also working for, not only the Guptas, but also the broader Zuma faction, including writing speeches for uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association and the ANC Youth League.
Its campaign was aimed at diverting attention from state capture by Zuma and the Guptas by focusing attention on the need for economic emancipation, and white monopoly capital.
They’ve been accused in response of stoking racial tensions.
They were paid £100 000 a month.
As a consequence of being caught out, they’ve hired a law firm to review the work.
One lead partner has been fired, and three suspended.
They have been reported to PR industry bodies in the UK.
The company has issued an apology saying what they have already seen has “dismayed us” and is “inappropriate and offensive”.
There is widespread scepticism over their apology.
Bell Pottinger has been the PR firm of choice for dictatorial regimes around the world – from Syria to Chile.
For more detail; listen to the interview in the audio below.
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