Publication: ECAAR Issued: Date: 2005-10-27 Reporter: Terry CrawfordBrowne

Jacob Zuma : Crook or Scapegoat?

Press Statement by :

Economist Allied for Arms Reduction - South Africa

27 October 2005

ECAAR-SA
3B Alpine Mews
High Cape
Cape Town 8001

021-465-7423
ecaar@icon.co.za 

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 vindicated.
 
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 sub-committee comprised:  
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 colleagues.
 
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 irrelevant.
 
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.
 
I 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".
 
Terry Crawford-Browne
Economists Allied for Arms Reduction--South Africa (ECAAR--SA)
Sandown Crescent E105, Royal Ascot, Milnerton 7441
Terry Crawford-Browne
021 555 4059
ecaar@icon.co.za



*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 losers.

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:

*4  A small, but fairly, well and truly hooked fish.

*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.