Hain accuses banks of ‘facilitating’ SA corruption

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Former UK minister Peter Hain has accused international corporations and banks of facilitating corruption in South Africa during the rule of former President Jacob Zuma.

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain delivers a speech at the annual Labour Party conference at the GMEX Centre in Manchester, in north-west England, 28 September 2006. Hain said Thursday that Northern Ireland’s political parties face political deadlock if they miss a November deadline to agree power-sharing in the province. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images)

Banks like HSBC and Standard Chartered were “directly culpable” in the looting of government funds during Mr Zuma’s presidency, Lord Hain said in his testimony at a commission of inquiry into corruption in South Africa.

“It should be a source of shame for the international community and these banks and professional enablers that they have facilitated this,” he was quoted by AFP news agency as saying.

“Some of these corporations are based in New York, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai,” he added.

Lord Hain was referring to alleged corruption involving the Indian-born Gupta family, which is accused of using its close relationship with Mr Zuma to win government contracts and to influence ministerial appointments.

All the accused deny any wrongdoing.

South Africa’s Deputy Chief Justice Ray Zondo is chairing the inquiry in the main city Johannesburg.

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