Five More Face Investigation
|Reporter||Farouk Chothia,Taryn Lamberti andWyndham Hartley|
members named regarding alleged irregularities in SA's R43bn arms deal
WATER Affairs and
Forestry Minister Ronnie Kasrils is one of six high-ranking African National
Congress (ANC) members being probed over alleged irregularities in SA's R43bn
Sources close to the
investigation disclosed yesterday that the inquiry covers Kasrils, who is also a
former deputy defence minister, and former defence minister Joe Modise.
investigated are deputy Denel CEO and former ANC chief whip Max Sisulu; Ntsiki
Mashimbye, the chairman of Parliament's joint standing committee on defence;
Chippy Shaik, the head of arms procurement in the defence department; and
current ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni.
This is the most
comprehensive list of names to emerge since the inquiry into the controversial
arms deal by the offices of the directorate of public prosecutions, the
auditor-general and the public protector began to gather pace.
Yengeni was alleged in
the Sunday Times to have received a R360 000 vehicle from DaimlerChrysler
Aerospace, one of the subcontractors in the arms deal. Parliament's ethics
committee decided yesterday to investigate whether Yengeni failed to declare the
vehicle as a gift in terms of MPs' code of conduct.
Allegations also now
under investigation are that companies gave other politicians vehicles and cash
and that a Durban clothing company was used as a conduit for funds from outside
SA. In another case, money paid by an SA firm is alleged first to have gone to a
Mozambican front company before being used to renovate a Pretoria house.
The sources stressed
that the allegations were unverified, and that the investigation would determine
whether they were true.
surprise last night that he was the subject of a probe and said he thought the
investigators should have told him about it.
Kasrils said he was
unaware of "any such interest by any investigators". "I
categorically deny any involvement in any irregularities or corruption of any
kind. In the event of any such inquiry I would welcome and assist (it) to the
fullest to put an end to any suspicion or allegation as soon as possible. I have
nothing to hide with regard to any aspect of my financial affairs, including the
property I own or assets of any kind. I have no problem with (an) investigation
of my bank account and financial affairs. If necessary, this can be done (today)
because these matters must be open to public scrutiny."
Shaik declined to
comment, Sisulu is out of the country and Modise could not be reached last
made a surprise defence of his innocence to the National Assembly yesterday only
hours after the ethics committee decided to probe his alleged failure to declare
the car. He said he had legitimately bought the car and that its
"acquisition in no way amounted to a gift or a donation" or influenced
the awarding of any contract in the arms procurement.
acknowledgement to Farouk Chothia,Taryn Lamberti, Wyndham Hartley and