8 March 2018

South Africa: Scorpio - McKinsey's Double Jeopardy Conundrum Over R1 Billion Payback to Eskom


McKinsey & Co's offer to pay back that controversial R1-billion to Eskom is not quite as clear-cut as the global consulting firm has made out. It has a catch - one that sounds more like a get-out-of-jail free card. By JESSICA BEZUIDENHOUT for SCORPIO.

In its bid to contain the damage around the R1-billion it received from the South African power utility, consulting firm McKinsey & Co seeks a guarantee that it would not be punished twice.

For several months, the company has been at pains to convince the South African public that it wants to pay back the money, but just doesn't know how to do this.

Now, for the first time, McKinsey has shed light on what it calls the need for a "safeguard" - essentially a condition - for that repayment to Eskom.

In a legal challenge filed against a preservation order obtained by the NPA's Asset Forfeiture Unit in December 2017, McKinsey raises a concern about double jeopardy, a legal principle that protects an accused person or entity from being punished twice for the same criminal offence.

"While prepared to return the funds in question, McKinsey should not be exposed or be subjected to double jeopardy...

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