NEWS

Former Anti-Apartheid Activist Pushes For Foreign Investigation Into State Capture

Lord Peter Hain says South Africa is gripped by a political, economic and social crisis.

19/10/2017 14:38 SAST | Updated 19/10/2017 14:44 SAST
Dylan Martinez / Reuters
Lord Peter Hain.

In a letter petitioning for UK law enforcement agencies to probe the role of global banking institutions in state capture, Lord Peter Hain -- who grew up and attended school in South Africa -- says the country is gripped by a political, economic and social crisis.

Lord Hain, who is an influential former UK politician, says the crisis is precipitated by a "vast criminal network" facilitated by the Guptas and the Zuma family.

The letter, dated September 25, is addressed to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, and requests that UK law enforcement and regulatory authorities, including the Serious Fraud Office, investigate the alleged role of financial entities like Standard Chartered, Baroda Banks and HSBC in illicit financial flows emanating from state capture.

"Such is the extent of this criminal network that the South African state is indisputably regarded as having been captured, with corruption and cronyism plundering taxpayer resources on an industrial scale... totally betraying Nelson Mandela's legacy and the values for which so many of us fought in the anti-apartheid struggle," Lord Hain wrote.

He also outlined the role of McKinsey, SAP, KPMG and Bell Pottinger in the state-capture process.

"I have deep concerns and questions around the complicity, whether witting or unwitting, of UK global financial institutions in the Gupta/Zuma transnational criminal network," Lord Hain wrote.

The South African state is indisputably regarded as having been captured, with corruption and cronyism plundering taxpayer resources on an industrial scale.

"I am therefore asking you to ensure UK law enforcement and regulatory authorities investigate this and also request all UK financial institutions to review their exposure for the following individuals and entities."

Hain then listed 27 names including those of Gupta family members, their known associates and members of the Zuma family, including the president.

He also listed 14 companies, including the Gupta-linked Trillian, VR Laser Asia and Regiments Asia.

"I ask that these investigations proceed forthwith and would be grateful if you could keep me regularly updated on your decisions and actions," Lord Hain wrote.

Lord Hain was a second-generation anti-apartheid activist perhaps best-known for his Stop the Seventy Tour campaign that disrupted international tours by South African sports teams in 1969 and 1970.

He was targeted by apartheid forces and was, among other forms of harassment, sent a letter bomb that failed to explode in 1972 and investigated for bogus bank robbery charges in 1976.

Lord Hain's parents were made "banned persons", imprisoned and prevented from working by the South African government.