An American consulting firm became a power broker and then a pariah in South Africa

“I am concerned that we are exchanging short-term access to long-term issues,” Ms. wrote. Miller in an internal email in 2014.

She wrote that Bain was trying to regain his reputation after the 2012 presidential election when the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, was criticized for his work in the consulting firm. Ms. Miller, who has since left Bain, did not respond to a request for comment.

Bain’s internal presentations, handed over to the Commission as evidence, show that the company made proposals to Mr Zuma to restructure other state-owned agencies, such as those overseeing communications and energy, so that Mr Zuma would have direct oversight of them. . This, the Judicial Commission said, could violate South African laws that prohibit the head of state from directly controlling state-owned enterprises.

Mr. Massone and Mr. Zuma met 17 times from 2012 to 2014. The commission’s report suggested that these meetings, and the fact that Bain knew who would be the new head of the tax agency – Tom Moyane – before it was announced, were evidence of a plan between the consulting firm and the presidency to infiltrate the tax system “and cause harm to the institution.”

Bain helped prepare Mr. Moyane, a Zuma loyalist, to take over the tax agency as its new commissioner. Mr. Moyane is blamed for destabilizing the agency and losing millions of dollars in tax revenue.

At the time, Mr Zuma was facing charges of tax evasion, and the first task was to “neutralize” tax officials who were seen as obstacles, according to evidence presented during the investigation. The investigation report described Bain’s work with Mr. Moyane as “one of the clearest demonstrations of state capture,” a term used to describe politically connected individuals and companies becoming rich by state agencies.

Zuma was forced to resign in 2018 after Cyril Ramaphosa became leader of the ruling African National Congress. Sir. Ramaphosa promised to exterminate the transplant and quickly fired Mr Moyane. Mr. Moyane did not respond to a request for comment.

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