Business Day article, titled “PIC vetoes BAT political donations”, dated 02/11/2017, refers.
FITA’s long standing position that BAT is playing unfairly in the tobacco industry is validified by the above article.
The PIC has stepped in to stop what appears to be attempts to have agency over state officials, political parties, and government policy.
FITA commends that the PIC has vetoed attempts by BAT to seek means to extend donations to political organisations and persons of influence. We wish to point out that such a veto is not without merit, and the PIC must feel great concern about BAT’s modus operandi in seeking influence and impacting legislation, as well as disrupting the trading environment for smaller enterprises.
Further to the PIC’s concerns relating to nefarious business practices on the part of BAT, BAT have fallen foul of their own measures. In 2016, BAT’s executive announced that the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright was tasked to conduct a probe into widespread allegations against BAT. Tellingly, there has been radio silence from BAT on this matter.
Notably, there has been no release of the findings of this investigation. BAT has failed to take the public into its confidence.
FITA urges BAT to publicly release the findings of their internal investigations into allegations of the crimes of industrial espionage, corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, and anti-competitive practices immediately.
FITA also extends a call to law enforcement agencies, the media, and the public to demand full disclosure of the BAT investigation immediately.
FITA’s members are legally entitled, by the highest law of the land, to a fair trading environment free of competitor harassment and unfair competition.