Adri Senekal De Wet, Page 18
We are not a procecuting authority, but we will expose corrupt business
ALL SOUTH Africans, including myself, are concerned of the status of state owned enterprises (SOEs), in particular those susceptible to corruption. The media has focused on the “Gupta Leaks”, which concern the relationship of the Gupta family to SOEs and officials.
This is a very valuable source of information and helps us to understand how corruption has occurred at the highest levels.
What is very clear is that for each incident of alleged corruption reported, which has amounted to hundreds of billions of rands in total, there has been a complicit company.
We have highlighted a number of multi-nationals who are implicated in the Gupta e-mail saga, including household names such as McKinsey, KPMG, ABB and Neotel, to name but a few. There are also many SA companies who have been implicated in these and other recent revelations of corruption.
What all of these companies must recognise is that corruption firstly robs the state of resources to provide for the poor and the indigent. And corruption creates an unequal playing field for young, and especially black companies, to make their mark in business.
These giant companies with big cheque books are able to ensure that they obtain contracts by hook or by crook. Most of us love South Africa and we support the market economy; most importantly we support businesses committed to the growth of our economy and economic and social transformation.
We are opposed vehemently to businesses that are corrupt and undermine the integrity of the state and the free market.
The focus of the media on the Gupta leaks, due to the dramatic nature of the revelations, has diverted attention from the wrongdoings of companies.
It has allowed high-powered PR firms to give South Africa flowery presentations and resounding but empty promises of full investigations.
We at BR have assembled a senior editorial team with a top flight of investigators and have managed to unearth a cachet of information on corruption perpetrated in SA by large companies and multinationals.
Since we first published articles on some of these companies we have been inundated with whistle blowers offering us evidence of greater corruption. We are shocked by the scale of corruption in the private sector.
As a responsible media house we have to balance the need for public information with verified information, validated before we publish. We are not there to be punitive to large companies, but we believe that we have a responsibility to hold companies to the highest level of ethical business practice. In that regard we again issue a challenge to errant companies to open their books for inspection.
BR will publish a series of articles on the role of companies involved in alleged corruption. This will send shock waves through the business and financial community in the weeks to come, due to the reputation and stature of many of them. We cannot, however, provide you with a moral sense that you should have acquired along your journey.
We are not a prosecuting authority; our role is to publish information we receive from our sources. These articles will be thoroughly interrogated by our legal team before publication.
We ask Corporate SA to take a deep and honest look into their practices, and come clean if necessary. If corporates remain arrogant, and mislead the public about their role in corporate corruption, we will have no hesitation in publishing information at our disposal.
BR is determined to restore our country’s former respected status in the community of nations.
We pledge respect and honour the contributions of people and leaders such as Madiba who sacrificed their all for the betterment of our nation.
This is our promise to the people of the country we so much love: we will attempt to foster a climate in which the economy is characterised by equal opportunities, true transformation, inclusive growth, entrepreneurial spirit and fair trade.
South Africa deserves to be classified as a country of integrity. It also deserves a re-assessment as a country which is open for business and in which it is profitable and ethical to do business.
As the executive of Independent Business, I commit to overseeing a process of investigation, which is both forensic and fair. Let’s combine forces to make our country great again.
What all of these companies must recognise is that corruption firstly robs the state of resources to provide for the poor and the indigent.
Adri Senekal de Wet is Executive Editor: Independent Media. Editor: Business Report & Personal Finance.