Unashamedly Ethical responds to controversy
Christian business leader and founder and chairman of Unashamedly Ethical, Graham Power has responded to media reports questioning his integrity and suggesting that his Christian faith and activities are inconsistent with his role in the construction industry.
“I wish to set the record straight,” says the Executive Chairman of Power Construction and Power Group of Companies, regarding a news report published in City Press and News 24, arising out of a June 24 press release by the Competition Commission which names the Power Group as one of 18 companies that allegedly participated in anti-competitive behaviour. The media reports published last weekend speculate that the group turned down an opportunity to pay a fine in settlement of the alleged offence, because of Power’s concern about damage to his reputation.
Power’s response in a statement released on Monday (July 15) says: “I have noted recent media reports questioning my integrity and suggesting an inconsistency between my strong Christian faith and activities, and my position in the construction industry, with concern. I wish to set the record straight.
“Power Construction and I have taken the lead in cleaning up the practices of the construction industry.
“It has long been the official policy of the Group that we should not engage in tender-rigging or any other type of cartel activity.
“We have engaged with the Competition Commission regarding one incident at Power Construction which took place in May 2006 without my knowledge, and from which we made no financial gain. We deeply regret this incident and have made a full disclosure to the authorities about it. Our legal advice is that this incident does not fall within the scope of anti-competitive behavior and has prescribed. As a result of that legal advice we have declined the offer of a settlement with the authorities.
“I am prevented from giving further details about the incident as the issue in question is sub-judice.
“It has been suggested that my leadership role in the Christian movement Unashamedly Ethical is inconsistent with my work in the construction industry. However, there has been no suggestion by the Competition authorities or anyone else that Power Construction or I have been involved in any anti-competitive practices during the lifetime of Unashamedly Ethical, which came into being in October 2006.”
In a statment released today, Unashamedly Ethical, which is committed to promoting ethics, values and clean living, says: “As per our normal practice, members of Unashamedly Ethical are deemed to be members in good standing unless the Ombudsman finds otherwise. As on 15 July 2013 no charge has been brought against either Graham Power or Power Construction. Moreover, in light of Mr Power’s statement neither he, nor the Power Group of Companies, have been accused of any anti-competitive behaviour since they made their respective commitments to being unashamedly ethical.
“Although the matter has been brought to the attention of the Ombudsman as a matter of course, the case between Power Construction and the Competition Commission of South Africa is still in process and no verdict has been reached to date. Therefore, it would be premature for the Ombudsman of Unashamedly Ethical to make any ruling on this matter until the judicial process is completed.”