Publication: Mail and Guardian
Reporter: Donwald Pressly
Mo Shaik Takes Control of Nkobi Group
Mail and Guardian
Shaik, brother of fraud convict Schabir Shaik, has taken the helm at the Nkobi Group, the firm that has a key stake in South Africa's arms
This was confirmed by Mo, who was previously a senior
official in the Department of Foreign Affairs, at a media conference held at the
Cape Talk radio offices in Cape Town on Monday -- just a few hours after Schabir
lost his application to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein against two
counts of corruption and one of fraud, related to South Africa's arms
"I have assumed responsibility of the affairs of the Nkobi Group,"
he said, noting that the group is in the process of "winding down" its
Without explaining further, he said that the judgment handed
down on Monday will assist Nkobi in dealing with "any obligations" that arise
from the appeals court decision.
Asked how much the legal process in
defending his brother had cost, he said it had been very
expensive *2 but did not attach a figure to it.
Nkobi is connected to the arms deal -- a multibillion-rand
package to re-equip the South African Navy with patrol corvettes and submarines
and the air force with jet trainers and light fighter aircraft --
Schabir was a director of African Defence
Systems (ADS), a subsidiary of Thomson CSF (also known as Thales and
Thint). ADS also employed Schabir's brother Chippie's wife,
Zarina, while Chippie himself is a former chief director of procurement in the
South African Defence Department.
Thomson CSF/Thales, a French arms
manufacturer, was awarded a contract to supply management technology for four
corvette patrol vessels for the navy. Thales International now owns 60% of
shareholding in ADS while a 20% shareholding is held by Nkobi
Investments, according to a Thales website *3.
With acknowledgements to Donwald Pressly and Mail and Guardian.
*1 Never mind about Nkobi Group,
the firm that has a key stake in South Africa's arms deal is Thales
International through ADS.
Plus is has a potentially much larger stakes
in the SA Army's Ground-Based Air Defence System (GBADS).
GBADS is also
an acronym for Great Backshee for African Defence Systems.
GBADS, a R5
billion acquisition that will grow to R20 billion in time, is surely one of the
programmes for which Alain Thetard, on behalf of Thales International, purchased
the permanent support of one Jacob Zuma, 1999 deputy president and 2009
presidential aspirant, for the paltry sum of 500 kZAR per year until ADS starts
paying dividends (by which time Schabir Shaik could comfortably pay his
bumiputerian benefactor and conspicuous consumer without the assistance of bogus
service provider agreements and French wonga splodged through Turkey, Mauritius,
Nkobi Holdings and Mr Vivian Reddy's alter ego, Development
*2 About R10 million.
*3 What's conspicuously
missing from the Thales website is their proud annunciation of their generous
500 kZAR per year contribution to the Jacob Zuma Education Trust along with
photos of Alain, Jacob and Schabir wacking a celebratory bottle of Johnny Walker
Blue Label with two litres of Coca Cola after a hard afternoon's bargaining in
encoded form on Friday 10 March 2000 in Durban. It's awfully sweaty in Durban in
March and short sharp codes can indeed limit the pre-drinks business down to the
Meantime, if Schabir keeps his cool like his fellow
incarcerant Tony Yengeni, he can get his sentence reduced by 90% thereby turning
his 180 month sentence to just 18 months. With the wonga still flowing very
nicely indeed from Prodiba and the perennial Prodiba money tree - thank you
kindly please Mac - Schabir might still still get the weekly bottle or more of
the Blue Label (with a slight premium of say 200% for the good members of
Correctional Services so they can also get their jollies, albeit just a bottle
or two of Mainstay or Klipdrif or Squadron).