State Investigators Serve Subpoenas
|Reporter||Taryn Lamberti, Farouk Chothia and Wyndham Hartley|
SA denies knowing about Yengeni's 4X4
senior employees of DaimlerChrysler SA have received subpoenas to hand over
documents relating to the "Tony Yengeni car" scandal to state
investigators probing the R43bn arms deal, according to a source.
DaimlerChrysler spokesman Lulama Chakela said last night that she was unaware of
She disclosed earlier
that European Aeronautic Defence company a sister company of DaimlerChrysler,
handed documents to investigators.
The investigation into
allegations that African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Yengeni received a
Mercedes Benz ML320 4x4 in 1998 in an apparent attempt to influence the outcome
of subcontracts in the arms deal forms part of a larger probe being conducted by
the offices of the national directorate of public prosecutions, the public
protector, and the auditor-general.
It is understood that
investigators served the subpoenas on the two DaimlerChrysler SA personnel, who
might be directors, on Monday. Chakela said an internal investigation by
DaimlerChrysler SA found that the car was sold to Daimler Aerospace SA, which
was subsequently absorbed into EADS, in the "normal and regular course of
dealing with an associated company". DaimlerChrysler SA did not know what
then happened to the car, and had no further interest in the matter, Chakela
said, and declined to name the employee to whom the car was sold.
political furore surrounding today's parliamentary ethics committee probe into
Yengeni's acquisition of the vehicle deepened late yesterday when it was alleged
by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that he had also failed to declare a property
bought in 1994.
The allegation was
made by DA chief whip Douglas Gibson in a second letter to the chairwoman of the
parliamentary ethics committee, Bernard Ncube. This followed a ruling in the
National Assembly by Speaker Frene Ginwala that she would not allow any notices
of motion on the Yengeni affair because it had been referred to the ethics
committee which will meet this morning.
She appealed to any
members with evidence relating to Yengeni and the car to make it available to
her, the ethics committee or the committee on public accounts.
In his second letter,
Gibson said the deeds office records showed that in 1994 Yengeni bought a house
in Milnerton in Cape Town, but in his 1998 declaration of members interests he
recorded only a four-roomed property in Guguletu.
Ncube, in a letter to
Gibson, asked him to explain exactly what he wanted investigated and to supply
"copies of contractual agreements". This was in response to Gibson
suggesting that if Yengeni had a contractual "arrangement" for the use
of such a car it should have been declared. He expressed surprise at being asked
for copies of "agreements" when he had referred to
"arrangements" and suggested that it was Yengeni who should be asked
acknowledgement to Taryn Lamberti, Farouk Chothia, Wyndham Hartley and Business