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South Africa's Bosasa to cease trading as banks close accounts
(Adds detail, context, banks' responses)
JOHANNESBURG, Feb 18 (Reuters) - South African services firm
Bosasa, which is known as African Global Operations, said on
Monday it had applied for voluntary liquidation after its banks
told it they would close its accounts by the end of the month,
citing reputational risk.
Privately-owned Bosasa said in a statement it had suffered
"extensive reputational damage" over the past few months, during
which time it featured in a South African judicial inquiry into
alleged influence peddling.
Its former chief operating officer alleged during the
inquiry that he bribed politicians and bureaucrats to secure
contracts for Bosasa and was subsequently arrested alongside
Bosasa is the latest firm to be wound up as South Africa
tries to deal with years of widespread government corruption and
alleged influence peddling, including via investigations and
Companies linked to the Gupta brothers, the heads of one of
the country's biggest conglomerates, have had their bank
accounts withdrawn and collapsed as part of a far-reaching
scandal that also dragged down PR firm Bell Pottinger and
engulfed global firms like KPMG and consultancy Bain.
"The group will be unable to trade without a bank account,"
it said, adding there would be a "devastating ripple affect" on
4,500 employees and 3,100 firms in its supply chain.
Absa, FirstRand and Nedbank said
they could not comment, citing client confidentiality.
(Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and
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