ID leader Patricia De Lille has thankfully gone back to doing what she does best, raising a stink about our multi-billion Rand arms deal.
The allegation that the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund was on the receiving end of dirty cash of course has everyone’s moral indignation meter turned up to eleven. Minister of Defence (and ANC Chairman) Mosiuoa Lekota was suitably outraged:
I can now confirm that on the 29th of January 1999 the following organisations each received R500 000 from [German arms manufacturer] Thyssen-Krupp – African National Congress, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Community Development Foundation.
Is [she] saying… that Comrade Nelson Mandela, the former president of this country, was a crook that wanted to steal money through the strategic defence package? Because if that is what she is saying, she must get out of this House and say it there.
I’m just wondering if donating to various charities has become a ‘tribute’ that is needed to be paid to prove that you’re willing to spend the big bucks later on. For instance wasn’t the “anonymous” donors behind the statue of Nelson Mandela in the (appropriately titled) Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton revealed (in Noseweek if I remember correctly) to be the consortium behind the Gripen fighters?
With three European countries (England, Germany and Sweden) about to start their own investigations into bribery involved in the multi-billion Rand arms deal (despite our own government claiming everything was above board) the role of Chippy Shaik, older brother of Schabir, is starting to come under the spotlight. Chippy was head of procurement for the Department of Defence during the tendering and acquisition of the various weapons systems that made up the arms deal.
The NPA alleges that Chippy “suggested” that Thales partner up with his brother Schabir as a BEE partner. That of course led to the R500 000 bribe offer given to Jacob Zuma which basically kicked off the whole saga culminating in Shaik’s conviction for fraud and Zuma’s firing as Deputy President. Chippy has kept a very low profile following his resignation from the Department of Defence but should the NPA decide to investigate further into Chippy’s role in the arms deal I have a feeling he might have a lot more to answer for than Schabir ever did.Update: Chippy Shaik goes to ground
Former Head of Procurement for the arms deal at the Ministry of Defence and brother of jailed fraudster Schabir Shaik, Shamin Chippy Shaik, 46, cannot be found and his family have thrown a net of secrecy over his whereabouts.
The Sunday Times has been told that he has set plans in motion to flee the country as he does not want to take the chance of spending time in a South African jail and is making his way to Perth in Australia.
Despite repeated claims by government that the arms deal was “not affected by any corruption”, the German government has now asked the National Prosecuting Authority for assistance in their own investigation. That kind of adds a bit more weight to the accusations. Independent Democrat leader Patricia De Lille is also getting back to her old corruption busting roots that everyone initially loved her for, as opposed to her suicidal political strategies in the Cape Town local government, by personally going to both Germany and the UK to meet with investigators there.
The German investigation is focusing on Chippy Shaik (brother of already convicted bribery middle man Schabir Shaik, fancy that) and his alleged $3 million bribe he solicited from German firm ThyssenKrupp, who were awarded the contract to build the SA Navy’s Valour class frigates. At the time Chippy was the head of aquisitions for the arms deal so of course he would be the guy to bribe if you had to, not to mention the guy to throw a few juicy contracts his brothers way. The eye opening thing to me was that up until 1999 bribery wasn’t even illegal in Germany, you just filed it under ‘other expenses’ on your balance sheet.
To me it seems the pressure is building on Thabo Mbeki at an increasing rate. It’s one thing to brush off accusations of bribery from the “jealous opposition”, it’s a lot harder when the governments of Germany and the UK start making the same rumbling noises. This coupled with the whole FNB pulled ad fiasco is going to make the upcoming State of the Nation address very interesting.
Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana suggested a unique solution to the crime problem. Conscript the youth!
The worrying trend whereby our youths are involved in the current spate of armed robberies and other related violent crimes that are ravaging our country could be reversed once they join the army.
Only one small problem. Once the youth leave their 2 years learning to kill (which is the primary aim of the army right?) and go back to their impoverished homes what exactly are they going to do? The military execution and usage of assault weapons during cash-in-transit heists have shown that ex-soldiers/cadres aren’t exactly averse to returning to a crime.Update: Claims against SANDF set to cost taxpayers
Hundreds of South African soldiers have been accused of killing, torturing and assaulting the very people they are supposed to protect – and taxpayers might have to fork out almost a billion rands in civil claims.
This administration’s foreign policy is becoming more of a mystery to me. Following the puzzling no vote at the UN over the resolution against Myanmar SA has now declined to send any peacekeeping troops to Somalia.
After the formation of the African Union there was much ballyhoo about finding African solutions to African problems, especially an African peace keeping force to be deployed in the various hotspots that dot the continent. South Africa, having the most sophisticated military force in Africa and being the leading proponent of an “African Renaissance”, is expected to provide a significant contribution towards any peace keeping activities and to that affect we already have troops in Burundi and the Congo.
Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota decided it would be best to explore other options. If the Ethiopian soldiers, who helped the interim Somali government defeat the Islamist rebels, are not replaced when they withdraw the country might implode into war again.Update: SA out in the cold at Davos
South Africa is losing valuable opportunities to secure foreign investment because of its close political ties with the rest of Africa.
Defence Minister Masouia Lekota continues to suprise. In a conference before the SADTU conference Lekota stated that even though the government he is part of is arresting his ‘comrades’ all are equal before the law as envisaged in the Freedom Charter.
Is it just me but does anyone else think this could be the start of a stealth campaign for the presidency for Lekota? He seems to placing himself squarely in the Mbeki camp and is lately making statements he knows the press will report on in a positive light.
As we get closer to the ANC NEC I expect a whole lot more of these unofficial campaign speeches by the various contenders for the presidency.
After questioning affirmative action (Warning! 300KB link!) and questioning Jacob Zuma Minister of Defence Mosiuoa Lekota has suprised once again! After the newly appointed Director of Military Prosecution Brigadier General Ernest Zwane was revealed to have had two fraud counts against him (and a conviction of possession of an unlicenses firearm) I was expecting nothing much to happen about it.
Except ‘Terror’ stepped up and proved why people call him that name by firing him, no questions asked.
Can we clone this guy and put Terror1 through Terror400 in the National Assembly?
Well after coming back from holiday it’s good to see that I didn’t miss any major political scandals.
- Minister of Public Eneterprises Alec Erwin will finally release a report on the shenanigans at Koeberg. Frankly I’m feeling a bit cheated here. Where are the French speaking saboteurs and their high tech video camera invisibility gear?
- SA will not be helping Germany with it’s enquiry into the recently purchased corvette deal.
- SA will be helping Germany with it’s enquiry into the recently purchased corvette deal.
I was lucky enough to go on a short guided tour of one of the SA Navy’s brand spanking new Valour Class frigate (or patrol corvette), the SAS Spioenkop. This is one of the new ships bought in the massive arms deal, which has lead to numerous accusations of bribery and fraud. Every time I walked past a ‘Thales’ logo I thought “I wonder how much that thingamajigus contributed towards Tony Yengeni’s SUV fund?”.
Anyway the actual ship itself is pretty awesome. Highlight of the tour being the ensign taking us around telling us why the ship uses Exocet missiles which have been around since the 80’s:
Because they’re economical and still one of the most efficient killing machines on the planet.