Publication: Democratic Alliance
Reporter: Eddie Trent
DA: Trent - Corvette & Arms Deal - Govt to be Ethically Upstaged if it
Does Not Act
Eddie Trent MP
As German publication
"Der Spiegel" comes off the presses with more details surrounding suspected
irregularities around the corvette deal, the Democratic Alliance repeats its
calls for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Government at large to
continue investigations into the strategic defence procurement
Eddie Trent MP
It is important to remember that at the time of its
controversial release in 2001, the Joint Investigation (JIT) Report into the
alleged irregularities did not rule out further investigations. As more
questions are still left unanswered than not, the DA remains convinced that all
avenues have not been explored.
In around 1995 the SANDF was negotiating
with Spanish company, Bazan to purchase four light, modestly equipped frigates
for R2.5bn. For reasons unknown, the plug was pulled on these negotiations. In
1998 South Africa at last committed itself to the purchase of four equally
modestly equipped frigates from the German Frigate Alliance along with Thomson
CSF. Except now, the costs had risen to R6.8bn.
The Democratic Alliance
submits that these are not merely unrelated facts and the authorities in
Germany, the country who benefited economically from the transaction, seem to
agree with us.
We now call on the South African government, to
proactively emulate their German counterparts. In this respect, and especially
in terms of how this dragging issue has come to taint the lives of our
long-suffering citizens, the ANC-government now needs clear the way for the
following two things to happen:
- Firstly, and as a matter of urgency, the National Prosecuting Authority must
at long last move on that one boulder left unturned: Chippy Schaik. Described by
Judge Hillary Squires as "central to this whole exercise [of putting together
the arms deal], managing and driving it and privy to every bid, reaction, debate
and response", Shaik never properly recused himself when the awarding of
contracts to Thomson CSF and ADS was discussed, despite obvious conflict of
interest (his brother, Schabir's material interest in ADS). The National
Prosecuting Authority therefore obligated to launch a investigation into the
role of Chippy Shaik.
- Secondly, government needs to institute a full-scale Judicial Commission of
Inquiry into the strategic defence procurement packages. A Judicial Commission
of Inquiry would have the powers to subpoena witnesses and, left to do its work
without fear or favour to any one, would stand the best chance to save the South
African public from any later shock discoveries.
afford to procrastinate any longer on this issue. The time has come for the ANC
to prioritise national interests above party-political loyalty. Should it not do
this it would risk the possibility of having South Africa ethically upstaged and
severely embarrassed internationally by the principled actions of one of our
major trading partners.
For Information : Eddie
Trent 083 600 8949
Liaison : Martin Slabbert 082 320 1890
With acknowledgements to Eddie Trent and the DA.