British lawmaker Peter Hain At an inquiry hearing has accused several banks including HSBC, Standard Chartered and India’s Bank of Baroda of directly helping former South African President Jacob Zuma carried out corruption while he was still in power.
Hain’s submission on Monday to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, part of which he shared with Reuters in advance, will be “very critical of global corporates, especially banks, and states including the UK, Dubai, Hong Kong and India,” he wrote in an email.
HSBC said it supported the inquiry while Standard Chartered said there was no evidence linking it to the Guptas.
No-one from the Bank of Baroda was immediately available for comment.
Speaking in Johannesburg, Lord Hain alleged that the banks were helping the Guptas to hide the source of their illicit gains through a network of banks accounts and shell companies.
“They’re all up to their neck in this,” said Lord Hain, a former anti-apartheid activist. “They continued because of course the corporates concerned, including the banks, were making money out of it.”
Mr Zuma resigned as president in February 2018 after numerous allegations of corruption during his nine-year administration.
Several allegations focus on his relationship with the Gupta family, who have been accused of influencing cabinet appointments and winning lucrative state tenders through bribery. They also employed members of Mr Zuma’s family.
The Guptas also deny the accusations and say they have been victims of a political attack. They have since closed their South African operations in mining, media and technology.