Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2001-01-07 Reporter: Sapa Editor:

Two Military Companies Poised to Sue Armscor

Publication  Business Day
Date 2001-01-07
Reporter Sapa
Web Link

TWO military hardware companies are threatening to sue Armscor for more than R2bn in separate cases, in which they also allege corruption involving high-profile officials, E-tv news reported on Saturday night. Quantam International Services Limited, with corporate offices in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, said it planned to sue Armscor for $312m. 

This was confirmed by company representative Richard E Parker who said at the weekend that lawyers had drafted the summons which would be issued soon. He referred further queries to the company’s attorney Jack Hajbey who was not immediately available for comment. 

Quantam International claims it concluded an agreement with Armscor for the purchase of nine surplus C-160 Transall aircraft and millions of dollars worth of spares. However, four days before the money was to be paid the deal collapsed. 

The company has implicated several former and current high-ranking defence officials and is alleging corruption. The information has also been forwarded to several investigative agencies, including the auditor-general, the police, the directorate of public prosecutions and even the National Intelligence Agency, Paker’s partner Capt Roy Segers said.

In a separate case, Cape Town-based businessman Richard Young who turned to public protector Selby Baqwa for relief, has been advised by Baqwa to go to court. Young heads the company CCII systems which was originally identified by the SA Navy as the preferred supplier for the integrated management system (IMS) for the navy’s new four corvettes.

The corvettes form part of SA’s controversial R43bn arms deal. Young claimed the contract was awarded to another company with links to former defence officials. He also forwarded his information to anti-corruption unit head judge Willem Heath and the auditor-general, who in a special report to Parliament last year recommended that his grievance be the subject of a separate forensic audit investigation.

Young also briefed Dr Gavin Woods, the chairman of Parliament’s watchdog public accounts committee, which in November recommended a multi-sectoral probe into SA’s controversial R43bn arms deal. Young plans to sue for damages of between R100m to R200m.

He told Sapa last year he had investigated the matter for 18 months and had incontrovertible proof of irregular acquisition practices. “If it does have to go to court it cannot be other than extremely embarrassing for the (defence) minister, since he was presented with all this information (through the defence secretariat) and in the end a private citizen had to go ahead on his own steam,” he said then. — Sapa 

With acknowledgement to Sapa and Business Day.