A former arms deal insider has made explosive claims at the People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime.
Ajay Sooklal alleges that South Africa’s former Head of Arms Procurement Chippy Schaik was paid 1 million US dollars by Thales SA (Societe Anonyme) boss Pierre Moynot.
He also claimed that the then Deputy President Jacob Zuma received payments and other benefits from Thales to ensure the French arms supplier was protected from any South African probe into the arms deal.
According to Sooklal, successive French Presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy directly put pressure on former President Thabo Mbeki and Zuma to ensure this.
Bongani Bingwa spoke to Arms Deal critic and activist Paul Holden.
Holden says while the revelations are known, it was Sooklal's first public appearance.
Sooklal for one has not been heard in public before. He made the point that when the Seriti Commission of Inquiry was appointed, he was approached by Jacob Zuma and Zuma asked him not to appear before the commission of inquiry.— Paul Holden, Arms Deal Critic and Activist
I think the interesting thing is during the life of the Seriti commission of inquiry, Judge Seriti became aware of Mr Sooklal's allegations and failed to call him. Subsequently Mr Sooklal wrote to Seriti and said 'I have evidence I would like to present to the commission' and received no response.— Paul Holden, Arms Deal Critic and Activist
Holden says the Thales made every effort to ensure Jacob Zuma did not go to trial.
By supporting his lifestyle and bid to become president of the ANC, they were looking to protect their own interests.— Paul Holden, Arms Deal Critic and Activist
Click on the link to listen the full interview...