Publication: The Times Issued: Date: 2010-05-04 Reporter: Brendan Boyle

Arms deal time bomb not yet defused: Godi 



The Times

Date 2010-05-04
Reporter Brendan Boyle
Web Link

Scopa open to renewed investigation

The arms deal inquiry is not yet dead, Themba Godi, chairman of parliament's standing committee on public accounts said yesterday.

Godi told the Cape Town Press Club that his committee, parliament's main watchdog on public spending, had processed all but one of the new submissions received shortly before last year's general election.

If the one still outstanding - a massive file submitted by losing arms deal bidder Richard Young - changed the committee's view of the deal, he would be open to a renewed investigation.

Asked whether the committee might call for a judicial commission of inquiry, Godi said the rules of parliament did not in any way prescribe what measures MPs could recommend.

Godi said Young's 500-page submission included the first draft *1 of a controversial 2001 report by a joint investigating team headed by then Auditor-General Shauket Fakie. The report cleared the government of any undue intervention and failed to produce evidence of corruption in the $4.8-billion order for ships, submarines and aircraft.

Young is managing director of C2I2, which lost a bid to supply navy technology to Thales, a company linked to Schabir Shaik, who was later convicted of fraud and corruption associated with the arms deal.

Young fought a three-year court battle to gain access to documents relating to the arms deal.

He and other critics of the deal, including the DA, have since alleged that the final report was heavily edited on instructions from then president Thabo Mbeki and other senior ministers.

The file currently with Godi's committee includes the minutes *2 of a meeting allegedly attended by Mbeki in which significant edits were ordered.

Young told The Times yesterday that everything in the report was already in the public domain, but that it pulled a lot of information together and proved that there had been top-level interference in the drafting of the report, which was used by Mbeki to shut down the investigation.

Godi said all members of his committee had been given copies of Young's submission and would be asked soon whether they had found anything in it to follow up.

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With acknowledgements to Brendan Boyle and The Times.

*1       Not the first draft - the last draft of the report before it became the joint report.

And the version that was sent by the JIT to the Arms Deal Ministers Committee for vetting.

and vetting they did.

They took crucial things out and they put crucial things in.

This proved two things :
the JIT Report is a farce
Shauket Fakie CA(SA) is a fink
*2       Not actually the minutes themselves, at least not formal minutes.

But more damningly, the informal notes taken in a meeting, probably a meeting of no statutory authority, where unlawful instruction were given to a Chapter 9 institution to change it findings.

But we know for sure that the meeting was held and that the draft report was issued to MINCOM prior to the meeting and for the purposes of the meeting.

How do we know this?

Because one of the documents received under PAISA from the AG was the covering letter furnishing the draft report by the auditors to the auditees.

This is not standard practice in a forensic audit, only a regulatory audit.

Indeed this was no audit, it was a forensic investigation where a multitude of complaints of criminal conduct were made.

And a number of instances of criminal conduct were found.

If the investigators had tried just a tiny bit harder, then a multitude of instances of criminal conduct would have been found.

Instances of not just a bitter sub-contractor who lost R100 million worth of contracts and wasted a decade and a half of his professional life as well as the business life of his purely South African company which then employed 30+ plus South Africans, mostly graduate electronics engineers, most of whom have since emigrated, but clear-cut and simple to prove bribery and corruption amounting to something like R2 billion (in 2000 Rands).

Furthermore, the R2 billion in Arms deal bribes, underpinning a R30 billion Arms Deal is actually just the starter for a R300 billion cost of ownership of the defence equipment for the South African taxpayer.

The SANDF cannot and is on the record in this regard, fund the operation and maintenance of its Arms deal equipment.

Hardly any of it is being used and hardly any of it will ever be used.

It was the
The Wrong Stuff.

And no-one any longer, including and especially Helmoed Romer Heitman, Arms Deal apologist supreme, can ever say the SA Navy got the best frigatte deal in the form of the German MEKO 200AS light frigate and its even lighter combat suite.

The German bribe agreement whereby Thyssen paid Chief of Acquisitions USD3 million to Chippy Shaik and a group represented by him to swing the deal from Bazan of Spain to the South African Corvette Consortium (consisting of the German Frigate Consortium, Thomson-CSF Naval Combat Systems of Frame and African Defence Systems) proves once and for all against this simple nonsense.

If anyone at all wants to take issue with me on any of my contentions, then they are more than welcome to do so.