Publication: Issued: Cape Town Date: 2002-06-03 Reporter: Editor:

Auditors' Board to Probe Arms Deal Complaint


Issued  Cape Town
Date 2002-06-03
Reporter Sapa


The Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) is to probe a complaint by defence contractor Richard Young that PricewaterhouseCoopers had a conflict of interest in taking part in the multi-billion rand arms deal investigation.

Young, whose company CCII Systems lost out on a contract in the deal, alleges that the accounting firm were also the auditors for various companies involved in the arms deal.

PricewaterhouseCoopers was contracted to assist the offices of the Auditor-General, Public Protector and National Directorate of Public Prosecutions conduct the probe into allegations of irregularities surrounding the deal.

The Joint Investigating Team (JIT) released their finding in a report to Parliament in November last year.

South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) legal and ethical director Jan Dijkman wrote in a letter to Young that the PAAB would conduct the investigation into the allegations.

"On completion of their investigation, the matter will automatically be referred back to SAICA for consideration.

"The PAAB will deal with all future correspondence relating to this matter until such time as their investigation has been completed," he said.

CCII Systems was originally listed by the navy as the preferred supplier of combat technology for its four new corvettes, but lost the contract to the Thomson Group and African Defence Systems (ADS).

The investigation found that the Department of Defence's former head of acquisitions Chippy Shaik had a conflict of interest in that his brother Shabir was a shareholder in the Thomson Group and ADS.

With acknowledgements to Sapa.