JOHANNESBURG - Gupta-linked global consultancy firm McKinsey has come out in response to the media storm involving the alleged preservation order relating to the freezing of R1.6 billion worth of assets.
On Monday, a report by City Press cited that senior officials of the Hawks had secured warrants to arrest one of the Gupta brothers and his associates and were waiting for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to sign off on the warrants.
The December 14 order, obtained by the NPA in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, implicates Gupa-linked companies.
These companies include Trillion and McKinsey and the order seeks to freeze assets worth an estimated R1.6 billion.
On Tuesday, NPA spokesperson, Luvuyo Mfaku confirmed that the preservation order will be served on Trillian and McKinsey for assets worth the ordered amount; Mfaku said the order relates to consultancy work done by the companies for Eskom and Transnet.
McKinsey, in a statement has responded to the media reports, saying that is has not yet been formally provided any affidavit or order from any authority regarding the matter.
"We encourage the authorities to share with us the documents that have been shared with the press," the statement reads.
The firm points out that Eskom's counsel informed them in October 2017, that Eskom executives had acted unlawfully by failing to secure the appropriate approvals for the Turnaround Programme contract.
"We have no interest in being party to a contract entered into unlawfully by Eskom, and have written to them five times asking them to initiate the necessary proceedings before the Court. Even if Eskom chooses not to act to set aside the contract, we remain committed to returning the fees McKinsey earned in connection with the Turnaround Programme to South Africa," the firm said.
McKinsey says it welcomes all actions to "resolve this issue" and said it would cooperate with South African authorities and official investigations.
However, the firm says it stands by its October 17, 2017 statement in which it categorically rejected "the notion that our firm was involved in any acts of bribery or corruption related to our work at Eskom and our interaction with Regiments or Trillian".
"While we cannot comment on items we have not seen in full, no new information has emerged from the public reports that changes our understanding of the facts," McKinsey said.
The firm says it stands by its prior assertion that it has "never served the Gupta family nor any companies publicly linked to the Gupta family, McKinsey also denies making and/or aiding in payments, "directly or indirectly" to secure contracts.
The firm claims not to have authorised any payments made by Eskom to Trillian, saying any payments by Eskom to Trillian were made by Eskom after McKinsey informed Eskom that Trillian failed its due diligence.
"We believe that Trillian withheld information from us about its connections to a Gupta family associate. We informed Eskom of this decision by letter on 30 March, having previously flagged our concerns to Eskom about Trillian’s continued failure to disclose its beneficial ownership," the firm said.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE