Amanda Watson
News Editor
3 minute read
6 Jan 2022
6:00 am

State Capture report: How Bain & Company nearly collapsed Sars

Amanda Watson

This is one of the few instances where President Zuma was himself directly and personally involved in the activities and plans to take over a government entity.

Your company's gifts could have tax implications, and SARS will demand a cut. Picture: iStock

Bain & Company, the consulting firm which installed Tom Moyane as head of the SA Revenue Service (Sars) at then president Jacob Zuma’s behest, is mentioned 155 times in the Zondo report.

The collusion between Sars, the executive and Bain with a planned and coordinated agenda to restructure Sars; “executive training”; Bain’s knowledge of Moyane’s appointment to Sars; irregular use of the Public Finance Management Act to avoid competition; purging of competent top officials… the list goes on.

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said it was a “notable feature of the Sars evidence, in contrast to the rest of the evidence which the commission heard, that this is one of the few instances where President Zuma was
himself directly and personally involved in the activities and plans to take over a government entity, namely, Sars”.

The other, of course, was Eskom. Zondo noted Zuma involved himself in the suspension of executives in Eskom “which led to the removal of three of them and they were replaced by Gupta associates”.

But back to Bain and how it nearly collapsed Sars.

READ: First part of state capture report finally available to public

“Bain knew that they did not have have the necessary expertise. They must have thought South Africa did not know this or did not care whether they had the necessary expertise,” said Zondo.

“I think President Zuma and Mr Moyane neither knew nor cared.”

For nearly 90 pages Zondo lays into the relationship between Bain, Moyane and Zuma.

“Bain met President Zuma and Mr Moyane before they had even been appointed as third-party consultants to Sars, and from an early stage it was obvious that they would be given the position, even though no tender process had even begun,” Zondo found.

“The purpose of these early ‘appointments’ was to ensure that the necessary pre-planning could be
done to redirect the resources of the organisation and assume control of the organisation.”

Zondo said records showed there were “approximately 17 meetings between 11 August 2012 to July 2014 between Mr Massone and President Zuma. That is 17 meetings with the president of a country over two years.

“That means on average Bain was having a meeting with President Zuma every six weeks over a period of about two years.

“Those were very frequent meetings.”

There were also documents which “spoke of plans of an entirely different nature”.

“These were entitled ‘ANC Manifesto implementation’. According to the records of meetings, Mr Massone had ‘three – five’ meetings to discuss the topic of the ANC manifesto and what he called a ‘100 days’ plan’,” Zondo said.

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“This was presumably a blueprint of action for the ANC, much like the blueprint created for Mr Moyane at Sars.”

He noted the ANC manifesto documents included a discussion relating to the Cabinet planning process and performance agreements for ministers and directors-general (DGs).

“The documents make explicit reference to the ANC Top 6 and DGs in the Presidency.”

Bain has not responded to a request for comment.