Defence Specialists Cast Doubt on Claims against Yengeni
|Reporter||Wyndham Hartley, Farouk Chothia and Sapa|
DEFENCE specialists do
not believe that African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Tony Yengeni could
have influenced the awarding of contracts in the R43bn arms deal when he was
chairman of Parliament's joint standing committee on defence.
They have also pointed
out that DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa), which is alleged to have given
Yengeni a car, lost its two major bids to supply jet aircraft and sophisticated
radar equipment in the arms deal.
Janes Defence Weekly
correspondent Helmut Romer Heitman said: "It would have been very difficult
for him to influence the arms deal in any meaningful way."
Another source close
to the defence review process said the issuing of the car was more likely to
have been in the context of "intelligence gathering" by bidders going
for large contracts.
spokeswoman Annelise van der Laan confirmed yesterday a senior Dasa employee
bought the car which was later registered in Yengeni's name. The matter was the
subject of an internal investigation.
of MPs' interests, Fazela Mahomed, said that Yengeni did not include the car in
his annual declaration in November 1998. The car was licensed in his name at the
end of October. In terms of the code of conduct, MPs are required to disclose
gifts worth more than R350.
Meanwhile, the three
agencies investigating allegations of corruption in the arms deal national
public prosecutions director Bulelani Ngcuka, Auditor-General Shauket Fakie and
Public Protector Selby Baqwa decided at a meeting yesterday to hold
"certain aspects" of their investigation in public.
acknowledgement to Wyndham Hartley, Farouk Chothia, Sapa and Business Day.