Trillian to respond to damning state capture report

Trillian Capital Partners says it is compiling a comprehensive response to a damning 67-page report by Geoff Budlender SC into state capture allegations against it.

The company says it has not been given an opportunity to comment on the content of the report despite a request for Budlender to hold it back until such time.

Trillian released a statement just after 4pm on Thursday, several hours after its outgoing nonexecutive chairperson Tokyo Sexwale released Budlender’s report.

Sexwale commissioned the investigation last year to examine claims that the company and some of its executives had prior knowledge that President Jacob Zuma was going to axe former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

It also looked at Trillian’s links to the Gupta family and claims it had irregularly scored millions from government contracts.

Trillian will consider all the allegations in Budlender’s report “many of which appear to be incorrect” and will release its own comprehensive response, the statement read.

It said the report makes “serious allegations” against the professional management of Trillian, many of them experienced financial service professional in South Africa.

Trillian, mindful that even on Budlender’s own version the investigation is incomplete, will also consider whether to appoint a further inquiry to complete outstanding work on the report or whether to refer it to a judicial commission of inquiry.

Budlender’s report states that the company was uncooperative during the investigation and had tried to shut it down twice. For a detailed report on the findings see Friday’s edition of the M&G.

Meanwhile, a former Trillian chief executive who spilled the beans on the company’s alleged plan to cash in on Nene’s firing, issued a statement saying she was “heartened” by the fact that the Budlender investigation appeared to have corroborated parts of the information she gave former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

This whistle-blower may not be named following a ruling by the Commission for Concilliation, Mediation and Arbitration in January that this person may not be named.

The parties are embroiled in a labour dispute and part of it hinges on her claim that the information she gave the public protector is a protected disclosure. 

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Jessica Bezuidenhout
Jessica Bezuidenhout joined the Mail & Guardian as an investigative reporter in March 2016 after 20 years at the Sunday Times working on news and investigations. She has been the joint winner of several local and international journalism awards, including Nat Nakasa, Mondi, Vodacom regional journalist of the year and Misa, and runner-up for the 2003 Natali Prize.

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