Reporter: Terry CrawfordBrowne
: Crook or Scapegoat?
Press Statement by :
Economist Allied for Arms Reduction
- South Africa
27 October 2005
3B Alpine Mews
Cape Town 8001
Former Deputy President Jacob Zuma has
rightly described his forthcoming trial for corruption as an enormous challenge
for South Africa's constitutional democracy. IDASA ranks the arms deal scandal
as "the litmus test of South Africa's commitment to democracy and good
governance." Parliament has become a rubber stamp; the Chapter Nine
institutions have been emasculated; and now the Judiciary is under threat. The intended checks and
balances of our constitutional democracy have failed.
Jacob Zuma was named amongst high ranking ANC politicians and officials
in the September 1999 "Briefing to Patricia de Lille" which ignited the arms
deal scandal. On 30 November 1999
*1 De Lille and I held a joint press conference at which she
announced that evidence of corruption had been forwarded to the Heath Special
Investigating Unit. That evidence included
material from c2i2 chairman, Dr Richard Young *1 who is now
suing the government for R150 million because Thomson CSF was unlawfully awarded
the combat suite contracts for the German-built frigates. In his Shaik
judgment, Judge Hilary Squires found that Thomson CSF had conspired to bribe
Zuma, and thus to subvert South Africa's democracy. De Lille and I have been
De Lille named six more of those named
in the "De Lille Dossier" in Parliament on 21 June 2005. This prompted Finance
Minister Trevor Manuel two days later to apply for my financial sequestration,
an application intended (I believe) to divert public attention from his
particular culpability in the arms deal swindle. The cabinet's arms deal
- then Deputy President Thabo Mbeki
- the late Joe Modise, then Minister of Defence
- Stella Siqcau, then Minister of Public Enterprises
- Alec Erwin, then Minister of Trade and Industry, and
- Trevor Manuel, Minister of Finance.
Reports in 1995 and 1996 confirm that then Deputy President
Thabo Mbeki intervened inappropriately on behalf of the German armaments and
steel industries. Subsequent evidence confirms that he
also intervened inappropriately on behalf of
Thomson CSF to equip those German frigates. The late Joe
Modise died in November 2001 in curious circumstances. Stella Siqcau was a
lightweight, but had nominal oversight over Denel. Alec Erwin promoted offsets
to support Denel *2 (despite the international notoriety of offsets for corruption), and
continues to do so despite Denel's massive losses. Trevor Manuel's signature on
the 20 year foreign loan agreements gives effect to the arms deal, yet Manuel
pleads he was merely a cabinet functionary doing the bidding of his
Jacob Zuma wasn't even a national politician *3 when the arms
deal decisions were made. European politicians flocked to South Africa after
1994 -- to pay tribute to our new democracy with one hand, and to peddle weapons
with the other. Germany and France would share the warship contracts. England
and Sweden would share the warplane contracts. Italy would supply helicopters.
The arms deal tender procedures were a
sham, and the needs of South Africans were evidently deemed
Soon after Mbeki facilitated the German
warship contracts, Helmut Kohl's reputation was destroyed by the Christian
Democratic Party corruption scandal. Jacques Chirac has been closely associated
with the French arms industry for 30 years and, in particular, with the arming
of Saddam Hussein's Iraq during the 1980s. BAe Systems has extraordinary
influence over Tony Blair who, even before he became British prime minister,
lobbied hard for the BAe warplane contracts which the SA Air Force rejected as
too expensive and unsuited to South Africa's requirements. British researchers
estimate that the BAe bribes for the South African contracts amounted to about
£160 million (R2 billion).
Having been involved in these issues
since 1994 when Archbishop Desmond Tutu appointed me to represent the Anglican
Church at the Cameron Commission of Inquiry into Armscor, I attach a paper that
I spoke to recently at the University of Kwazulu-Natal and Diakonia in Durban.
In it you will read that European politicians, especially Tony Blair, drove the
arms deal for their own corrupt reasons, and that our politicians (most
pertinently Trevor Manuel) succumbed to their pressures. It is kickbacks from
arms exports that fund European political parties and politicians.
suggest that Jacob Zuma is a very small fish *4 in
the arms deal scandal, and that his trial is a devious
effort *5 to divert attention from the culpability of more senior
politicians both in South Africa and Europe. At issue is why European
politicians are so involved in the proliferation of weapons made in the "first
world" to kill people in the "third world," and why Mbeki, Erwin and Manuel are
even prepared to destroy South Africa's hard-won democracy rather than admit
that they were "conned".
Economists Allied for Arms Reduction--South Africa
Sandown Crescent E105, Royal Ascot, Milnerton 7441
021 555 4059
*1 Was this not 30
November 2000, for while it is true that I gave evidence to the HSIU, this was
not until May 2000.
*2 Denel, what a sorry bunch of
They got given an industrial base and a
market on a plate; they got given lots of operating capital; they got given a
healthy wallop of Defence Industrial Participation (DIP) on a golden platter.
But they cocked it all up. They even gave R100 million to the Saudis via
Madiba's old mate and Arms Deal interlocutor Yusuf Surtee. What they've been
doing in India we all want to know.
*3 No, but
Thomson-CSF identified him as follows:
- The Rising Man;
- The provincial MEC for Economics in the province where their target was
based, i.e. ADS Naval Systems Division;
- The deputy president of the ANC;
- The likely future president of the RSA.
*4 A small, but fairly, well and truly
*5 Prosecuting a small, but prima
facie corrupt person is not devious. What is deviant is not investigating and
prosecuting all the other corrupt persons, as well as ordering the Arms Deal
cover-up which was the Joint Investigation.