Publication: Cape Argus
Don't Happen without Comrade Bribery
In writing this missive, I've done a quick search on the internet for corruption
in the arms industry. The results, although not surprising, are
The arms industry and bribery (referred to as
"commissions" by the pedlars of death) have
built a well-established, symbiotic relationship to
the extent that the arms industry has difficulty negotiating with governments in
the absence of comrade bribery.
Despite the well-known fact of this symbiosis, it is hardly ever dealt with by
Contrary to popular belief, unauthorised "commission" payments are not confined
to developing countries but also extend to developed countries.
The German government lost a deputy minister of defence who could not resist
making a quick euro by assisting the arms dealers. The British government was
forced to enact legislation to deal with the problem, but even this did not stop
bribery - the BAE-Saudi arms deal investigation was stopped prematurely by the
government. The US government does not stop at bribery - it starts wars to
stimulate its arms and oil industries.
Our own much-derided arms deal has gone the way of most, if not all arms deals.
The more questions are asked about this deal, the more questions are uncovered.
The powers that be have only been able to cause increasing despair and anger
among the people, instead of addressing the real concerns, which are:
- Who performed the risk assessment of the project and the procurement
- Have they considered the reputation of arms deals globally during this
- Have they considered the enormous increase in the financial liability
over the period of the procurement process?
- Who authorised and changed the selection criteria to favour the current
recipients of this deal?
- Why are the trade-off projects not being audited to ensure that
recipients of contracts deliver on their commitments?
- Who have paid and received "commissions"?
The biggest questions, however, are those that ask what is the urgency about
pouring much-needed resources down the arms drain when we face serious
challenges in restructuring and building infrastructure to eliminate
inequalities introduced over many years by apartheid.
We are still faced with rural schools under a tree and/or no toilets,
electricity or laboratory facilities. We still have millions living in shacks
and little/no means to earn a living. We still have a crumbling transport
infrastructure that needs massive investment. We still have a health
infrastructure that's falling apart and unable to serve the needs of our people.
I have accepted that we'll never get satisfactory answers to these questions
because the people are not in power - that is wielded by
the political elite that is plundering our resources.
The people who have undertaken to lead our country from oppression by the NP are
perpetrating a different kind of oppression,
similar to that practised by many African dictators.
They will take what they can while the people
continue to suffer. They will make us economic slaves but fail to improve the
lives of our people, be-cause they do not pay "commissions".
Bribery and corruption at government level are crimes
against the nation state.
With acknowledgements to Lunga and Cape Argus.
This is one clever Lunga.