The UK and US may soon step in to stop corruption in SA – Law expert

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Look, as South Africans, we know our country is full of corruption, from politicians to many big companies, it’s not good, especially when nothing seems to get done about it. Well, that might soon be changing for the better.

BusinessTech have published the very informative stance of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr director, Willem Janse van Rensburg.

Van Rensburg says it is unlikely that the UK and US will ignore the media hype and regulatory findings surrounding corruption in our country. He says the cases that involve electronic and banking systems with international connections will be of extra special interest to the global superpowers.

“This is especially likely given the recent developments in global anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) and anti-money laundering (AML),” said van Rensburg. “Chances are that South Africa might go through the same experience as Brazil.”

So, what exactly did Brazil go through?

At the beginning of 2017, Brazil sat at the top of the list of corporate investigations by the United States’ department of justice for purposes of enforcing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In total Brazil had 19 investigations against the country. Van Rensburg said that Brazil has now become a country with some of the biggest corruption related fines in the FCPA’s history.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFD) has also taken on big names before.

“The UK’s SFO has furthermore increased its focus of enforcement against individuals, which will also play a huge role in the global anti-corruption efforts if CEOs are willing to risk the fine,” said van Rensburg.

The CDH director said that there are now clear parallels between South Africa and Brazil. Van Rensburg says it’s now just a question of whether SA will end up like Brazil and face all the corporate investigations.

“The media has already exposed several global companies affected by the South African alleged grand corruption, some of which have stock trading on the New York Stock Exchange and others with definite connections to the UK.”

The ABC score boards clearly illustrate global companies will not escape the extra territorial reach of countries such as the US and UK, and if they fail to self-report, the company and its officials will face the consequences of the new ABC paradigm.”

Well, local companies *cough* Guptas, *cough* you guys better watch out. The big boys could be coming for you.