Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2004-03-31 Reporter: Sapa

DA Welcomes British Arms-Deal Probe



Mail & Guardian

Date 2004-03-31



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The Democratic Alliance has welcomed the British Parliament's investigation into the activities of Britain's Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) -- which will probe part of South Africa's arms deal.

The ECGD finances purchases of British goods. BAE Systems is one of the biggest clients of the ECGD, which has financed the purchase of BAE arms by South Africa.

In a statement released on Wednesday DA finance spokesperson Raenette Taljaard said the probe would serve the public interest - in the United Kingdom and South Africa -- by probing whether the British firm BAE Systems had paid any commissions or bribes in South Africa to obtain its contract.

"The South African government must realise that, although the full truth about the strategic defence procurement was actively suppressed, the public representatives in the supplying countries will probe the activities of the suppliers during the course of this procurement," she said.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and the Mail & Guardian.