Publication: Democratic Alliance
Reporter: Eddie Trent
DA: Trent - Request
for Further Investigations
in Respect of the Strategic
Defence Procurement Package
PARLIAMENT OF THE
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
PO BOX 15, Cape Town 8000, South Africa; Posbus
15, Kaapstad 8000, Suid-Afrika;
iBhokisi yePosi 15, iKapa 8000, iMzantsi
Tel: +27 21 403 2910 Fax: +27 21 461 0092
4 July 2006
To: Advocate Vusi
Director of Public Prosecutions
140 Westlake Avenue
Further Investigations in Respect of the Strategic
Defence Procurement Package
I would like to bring to your attention
the article "Excellent Connections" which appears in yesterday's edition of the
German publication Der Spiegel (I have attached a copy of the article and
translation to this letter).
According to the article,
German prosecutors estimate that up to €15m in bribes flowed in the direction of
South Africa as part of a successful attempt to secure a deal with the South
African government whereby South Africa would purchase four corvettes from the
German Frigate Consortium.
These payments were made
under so-called "NEs", or "useful payments" (sic), which, at the time, could be
offset against tax under German law. The nature and extent of these payments
currently form part of a formal investigation being undertaken by the German
The article continues to suggest that German defense system firms have
some in history engaging bribes to gain lucrative contracts. Obviously, this
investigation will have implications for South Africa and, particularly, for
those individuals involved in the deal in question.
A bribe, by its very
nature, is a two way process. There needs to be a person or company that offers
the bribe and person or company that agrees to receive and act on it. If German
companies are implicated in successfully offering bribes then it follows that
South African government representatives would also have had to act improperly
by agreeing to receive and act on those bribes.
Further, given the
questionable circumstances under which German firms were awarded the bid for the
supply of the four Corvettes (they were initially excluded from the tender ) the
specific role of those South African representatives and negotiators in the
tender process should be called into question.
Given the possible
implications for this country and its representatives in the arms deal
negotiations, I would like to request that you undertake the
Offering and receiving a bribe is, after all, a
violation of the laws of this country as it stands in the Criminal Procedures
- that the NPA contact the German prosecuting authority and
establish exactly the nature of the allegations, the investigation and the
extent of South Africa's involvement; and,
- that the NPA undertake to review the role of the South African government in
the awarding of this particular contract. Central to this process, so far as the
South African government was concerned, was the role of chief negotiator Chippy
Shaik, around whom several unanswered question remain. Any investigation should
concentrate on his role and undertakings in this regard. The role of then Deputy
President Thabo Mbeki, also central to the tender process, should also be
At the time of its release in 2001, the Joint Investigation (JIT)
Report into the alleged irregularities did not rule out further investigations.
The DA believes we should now make use of this provision and demonstrate that we
are proactive and dedicated to clean governance and a corruption free
administration. More importantly, we need to demonstrate that if indeed the law
has been violated, there will be consequences.
The German authorities has shown an admirable
will to uphold business and general ethical standards by launching these
investigations regardless of the fact that it was the main economic beneficiary
from the Corvette transaction.
The NPA would only serve the reputation
of our country well by emulating their momentum in this regard.
that you will attend to this issue as a matter of urgency and look forward to
your early response.
DA Spokesperson on Public Accounts