Peter Hain. REUTERS/Stephen Hird
Peter Hain. REUTERS/Stephen Hird

A call for lifestyle audits for senior officials - Lord Hain Debate

By Mashudu Malema Time of article published Feb 16, 2018

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JOHANNESBURG - UK politician, Lord Peter Hain last night chaired a panel discussion at the Wits Business School on money laundering, state capture and the role of UK institutions. 

The panel included Business Leadership CEO, Bonang Mohale, Chairperson of Corruption Watch and ANC stalwart, Mavuso Msimang,Treasury Deputy Director General, Ismail Momoniat and Africa Risk Consulting's Tara O'Connor.

Momoniat expressed the need for senior government officials to be subjected to regular lifestyle audits, prior to and during their terms in office. He said this needed to be done in order to enable transparency and to help curb state corruption.

Also present on the panel was, Deputy Director at the Wits Business School, Professor Kalu Ojah, who said the country needed to scrutinise the manner in which money is laundered out of the country. He said the bulk of it escaped South African shores through dubious companies and banks. 
Ojah said the illicit earnings of the Gupta's and the likes was not the problem, but the symptoms of a corrupt state. 

Hain praised Corruption Watch South Africa and civil society for keeping government's foot to the fire.  He also lauded the media for exposing corruption  I would hope that the new government work closely with civil society and I hope that this will happen with our new government.

Former South African finance minister, Pravin Gordhan was due to appear on the panel but Hain told the audience that he unfortunately had a pressing engagement to attend. 

The tumultuous political turbulence which transpired this week, with the recall and subsequent resignation of former president Jacob Zuma was also a focus with panelist.

CEO of Business Leadership  Bonang Mohale made his opinion on the subject quite clear. 

Speaking on state capture, Mohale said the ultimate prize for those wishing to capture the state is the National Treasury, "Treasury made a profit of R144 trillion, certain individuals would like to get their hands on that."

Tara O'Connor from Africa Risk Consulting urged South Africa to legislate the prosecution of bribery as a means of making sure companies are held accountable.

Speaking on the swearing in of Cyril Ramaphosa as South Africa's new head of state, O'Connor said: "One of the great things of transfer of powers today is that the constitution was put to the test, South African should be very proud of that."


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