Shaik Alleged to have had Key Role
contractor's letter refers to him supervising' selection of combat suite
arms acquisitions chief Chippy Shaik played a key role in the selection of
subcontractors for government's arms purchase, according to a letter written by
a main contractor.
The letter raises
further questions about government's refusal to accept responsibility for
subcontracts, although it acknowledges there was contact with subcontractors.
Systems (ADS) CEO Pierre Moynot wrote to the attorneys of C²I² Systems in July
1999 that the selection process for the corvette combat suite was being done
under the "supervision" of Shaik. ADS is owned by French company
Thomson-CSF. One of the directors of the company is Shaik's brother, Shabir
Shaik. C²I² Systems was bidding for subcontracts. ADS won the main contract
for the combat suite.
raised by C²I² Systems, Moynot wrote: "I must stress that I have been
quite surprised by the noise made by your client around this selection process
that was entirely between the hands of the project team (composed of
representatives of Armscor and the SA Navy) under the supervision of the
director of acquisition from the secretariat of defence."
C²I² Systems MD
Richard Young yesterday suggested that Moynot's comments contradicted those that
Shaik made to the parliamentary public accounts committee last year.
Shaik said that he had
disclosed his conflict of interest with regard to ADS, and he recused himself
from "any particular decision relating to the combat suite". Skaik's
office referred questions to the department's communications section, which said
it would respond today.
Moynot said that while
Shaik might have made "comments" related to the subcontracts, he was
not involved in direct negotiations and decision-making.
Alec Erwin, Trevor Manuel, Mosiuoa Lekota and Jeff Radebe said in a statement in
January that "procurement does not deal" with subcontractors, and to
"insist that the government must be held to account for minor subcontracts
is to misunderstand procurement". Erwin's spokesman, Edwin Smith, said
government had never claimed there was "no interaction with
subcontractors". But the fact that government and subcontractors interacted
over issues such as specifications did not mean that government chose
public accounts committee member Raenette Taljaard said that government was
trying to build a "Chinese wall" between interaction with
subcontractors and the fact that contracts were not signed with them but with
Meanwhile, the committee will meet today to
discuss the tabling of another report to Parliament on the arms deal. The
committee will have to formulate a response to the attack the four ministers and
Deputy President Jacob Zuma launched on it after it called for the Heath unit to
be part of the probe into the arms deal.
acknowledgement to Farouk Chothia and Business Day.