Publication: Sapa Issued: Durban Date: 2004-11-29 Reporter: Sapa

Former SCOPA Chairman Says Chippy Shaik was a Concern






Date 2004-11-29




Gavin Woods, former chairman of Parliament's standing committee on Public Accounts, testified in the Durban High Court on Monday on the acquisition process of government's multibillion rand arms deal.

He told the court one of Scopa's areas of concern was a possible conflict of interest in the defence procurement process.

He said the chief procurement officer for the Department of Defence, Chippy Shaik, was "extremely influential" in the entire process.

Wood said there was concern because Chippy Shaik's brother Schabir Shaik was a businessman with an interest in the arms deal, particularly the corvette contract.

Scopa found it had been misinformed by Chippy Shaik that he had recused himself from meetings.

Woods said there was a local supplier who bid for the corvette contract and had, according to documents, been given the work *1. However, he said the contract eventually went to a French company called Thomson CSF.

Schabir Shaik had pleaded not guilty to two charges of corruption and one of fraud. The state alleges he paid a R1,2 million bribe to Deputy President Jacob Zuma in exchange for his influence.

Schabir Shaik is also alleged to have solicited a bribe of R500 000 for Zuma from Thomson-CSF in exchange for protection during investigations into arms deal irregularities.

The corvette contract was awarded to the Germany Frigate Consortium of which ADF (sic - ADS) was a part. Schabir Shaik's Nkobi Holdings and Thomson-CSF had a joint shareholding in ADF.

With acknowledgement to Sapa.

*1 Hurrah - the puzzle is solved at last.

What  - the intentions were conflicted by the interests.
How   - extreme influence and various interests in the entire process.
When - early 1994 to 3 December 1999.
Who - a close-knit group of family and friends.