Press release – FITA – for immediate release
FITA stands for fair trade practices in the tobacco industry.
One cannot but take note of the recent public exposures of multi-nationals and their role in regulatory and state capture in South Africa. Notably, these include international brands, McKinsey, Bell Pottinger, KPMG, SAP and Bain & Company. Common to all is how they purport to have launched “internal investigations” which ultimately are never made public.
British American Tobacco, a multi-national in the tobacco industry, has stood accused of having unduly influenced law enforcement officials to the detriment of among others, several FITA members, money laundering, corruption and racketeering as far back as 2014. In retort, they too supposedly launched “internal investigations” that were conducted by law firms Slaughter & May and Norton Rose Fulbright.
As co-signatory to a mutual memorandum of understanding with the South African Revenue Service and the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa, and in the spirit of the undertakings given, FITA calls upon British American Tobacco to now make public these investigations reports.
FITA further calls on the South African Police Service, Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigations, Asset Forfeiture Unit, South African Revenue Service and National Prosecuting Authority to prioritise their actions into these allegations in the interests of local manufacturers and their workers.
At a time when South Africa has entered a technical recession, local tobacco manufacturers need all the support and protection that these agencies should in law provide them in any event. Not doing so will continue to place undue and unfair competition on FITA members and affect their ability to grow economically and create more sustainable jobs.
Issued by the Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association: 05 September 2018
For queries kindly contact Monique Vogel t: 011 044 5355; e: Monique@fita.co.za