JOHANNESBURG – Former British politician Lord Peter Hain on Monday testified at the Zondo Commission that international banks that had granted looters access to global networks to launder money were also to blame for state capture in South Africa.
Hain testified at the commission on the role international firms played in the fraud and corruption that took place in the public sector over the past decade.
He insisted that the corporates he referred to as international actors helped corrupt individuals in South Africa create complex structures to disguise the true ownership of funds.
Hain said global banks, HSBC, Standard Charter and the Bank of Baroda, who were said to have allegedly assisted the notorious Gupta family were culpable for the capture of the state.
“For international banks to claim they have no responsibility is frankly disingenuous and they should be held accountable for the consequences of accounts which have money that is smuggled,” he said. “The banks concerned did not stop it and they are culpable, in my view, to state capture, the corruption and looting.”
He testified that although his plea was for the international community to address what he called a “sorry and sordid saga,” he would also focus on necessary domestic changes.
Hain said the international actors helped corrupt individuals to enjoy the spoils of their illegality by allowing them to move their ill-gotten gains from South Africa.
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