Arms Dealer Requests Correction
German industrial giant MAN Ferrostaal said on Sunday it had never made any payments to President Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma or to any other member of the ANC, or to any other public official.
It was reacting to newspaper reports to this effect.
MAN Ferrostaal said in a statement from Essen: "These allegations are wrong and entirely unfounded." *1
MAN Ferrostaal said the articles contained a large number of factual errors *2 with regards to MAN Ferrostaal and therefore violated the basics of journalistic accuracy.
"The company has requested the newspaper (Sunday Times) to publish a rectification of the article.
"The options of legal action are currently being evaluated."
Contrary to what the Sunday Times claimed, both of the offset programmes MAN Ferrostaal was pursuing in SA were well under way.
The one for Armscor had successfully been fulfilled.
As stated by the DTI a few days ago, the DTI had rejected an originally planned steel works in Coega. *3
MAN Ferrostaal was successfully pursuing projects to replace this.
With its offset projects executed so far, MAN Ferrostaal had made a substantial contribution to the SA economy, having invested several hundreds of million Rand *4 and having saved and created several thousands of jobs, the statement said.
The Sunday Times said Mbeki should appoint an independent judicial inquiry to probe whether South Africa's multi-billion rand arms deal was corrupt.
The newspaper said in its editorial comment, that Mbeki should appoint an independent judicial inquiry, in response to demands from political parties, religious leaders, media and anti-corruption activists.
"If Mbeki has a clear conscience about the deal as he insists he does then he will appoint an independent judicial inquiry into the persistent allegations."
The Sunday Times said it was "eagerly awaiting" for the president to take legal action against it for its article that alleged Mbeki received a R30-million bribe in an arms deal contract.
The Sunday Times earlier reported that Mbeki allegedly gave R2-million of the money to Zuma and the rest to the African National Congress.
On Sunday, the newspaper alleged MAN Ferrostaal, accused of paying the bribe, did not honour many of its promises it made to win the contract.
"It has been established that instead of helping to boost South Africa's economy and create thousands of jobs, Ferrostaal's offsets have left a trail of broken promises, court battles and dashed expectations," the newspaper said. - Sapa
With acknowledgements to Sapa and Cape Times.