Opposition parties responded
in Parliament yesterday, saying authorities
are dragging their feet, shuffling papers
between different agencies and stalling the
Cape Town After more than 10 years,
investigations into allegations of
corruption in the multibillion-rand arms
deal including R480m allegedly involving
British and German manufacturers are
languishing and could take at least another
five to 10 years to finalise.
Opposition parties responded in Parliament
yesterday, saying authorities are dragging
their feet, shuffling papers between
different agencies and stalling the
investigation, which should be expedited.
Head of the Hawks directorate for priority
crime investigation Lt-Gen Anwar Dramat said
only two investigations are still active.
They relate to the acquisitions by British
Aerospace and the German Frigate Consortium
(GFC), and involve alleged corruption of
South African senior officials are accused
of taking bribes from German and British
arms makers who secured tenders to sell SA
German warships and Hawk jet trainers.
Both investigations are in the hands of the
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and
await critical information from foreign
authorities. “But even with information from
the authorities the question is whether it
is in the best interest of the country to
pursue these investigations, which will take
at least five to 10 years and cost more than
R10m,” Lt-Gen Dramat told members of
Parliament’s standing committee on public
accounts, which has tried to exercise
oversight over the investigation.
With regard to the GFC investigation, a
request was lodged with the North Gauteng
director of public prosecutions in June for
a prosecutor to be appointed to deal with
the request for information from the German
If they co-operate, the investigation could
take up to three years before the NPA will
be able to decide on possible prosecution.
British Aerospace entered into a plea
bargain with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office
earlier this year and the investigation was
then closed without any consultation with
“It is my impression … that what we’ve heard
today is that there is an investigation
where there are 460 boxes of documents,
4,7-million computer-generated documents and
one investigator apparently assigned to that
investigation,” David Maynier from the
Democratic Alliance said.
Lt Gen Dramat said: “It should be borne in
mind that although this matter originated in
the year 2000, new information was only
received during late 2007 after a full
investigation was declared in February
NPA chief Menzi Simelane denied that
foot-dragging was taking place or that there
has been any political interference in the
investigations. With Sapa
With acknowledgements to
But this was probably only one tranche.
Thomson-CSF almost surely paid its portion
of the bribe to win the frigate contract, in
this case the combat suite specifically.
All the arithmetic, spreadsheets, encrypted
faxes and diaries entries by the French
executives including Pierre Moynot and Alain
Thetard indicate that Thomson-CSF paid
between R250 and R300 million (1999 Rands)
to win the combat suite contract.
The Germans even had another bribe amount
built in to one of its occult contracts
whereby an extra amount would be due if the
DoD exercised the option of a fifth
So much so that the DoD and the GFC tried to
do a deal to purchase a helicopter landing
ship under the cover of the optional 5th
But by then all beady eyes, including my
own, were watching.