Comment by John Robbie

Comment by John Robbie: evidence supporting ‘rotten relations’ in the Arms Deal

I read a very interesting article in the Mail and Guardian website, written by Anine Kriegler and it’s about the Arms Deal.

Of course at the moment, we have the Seriti Commission going on about the Arms Deal and there’ve been a lot of complaints about it – the lack of real will to get to the bottom of the corruption allegations and people resigning because of that, but also some saying ‘Show us the evidence! Show us the evidence!’ – after all this, there’s no evidence and in fact Thabo Mbeki was one who took that particular view and he had a big dip when he was there.

The Mail and Guardian raises 7 ‘inconvenient facts’ they say and this is aimed at the people who say ‘Where is the evidence’?

I’ll outline them for you: (1) Schabir Shaik for being put in jail for soliciting bribes;

(2) President Zuma was fired over the Hilary Squires judgement, do you remember? He was ‘clearly implicated’, it was said and then of course the charges were controversially dropped;

(3) Tony Yengeni went to jail;

(4) MAN Ferrostaal – which is part of the German submarine consortium – they paid US $40 mil. to ‘gain political access’, and this was according to a report leaked in 2011;

(5) BAE – the British firm – they won The Hawks and part of the Grippon contract; they paid fines of US $79 mil. to the US State Department, rather than face charges of using covert middlemen, including in South Africa;

(6) The UK Serious Fraud Office also investigated this and found R179 bil. in covert payments was made to agents in SA, including Joe Modise’s advisor, Fana Hlongwane, with no justification from them to him;

(7) Chippy Shaik – remember he was Head of Acquisitions for the SANDF – he went into business with Ferrostaal (that’s part of the submarine consortium) and they invested US $1,5 mil. in a joint mining venture. There’s no evidence that Shaik contributed at all to this venture, which apparently is not necessarily improper, but it’s very problematic because there was no due diligence done at all.

So they’ve got 7 points that say, for anyone who says 'there is no proof of wrongdoing in the Arms Deal' and there’s plenty of evidence that the Arms Deal was rotten, it would appear.

 The question is: does the commission of inquiry really want to expose him? 

Bear these in mind, the next time you hear somebody say that there is no evidence - John Robbie

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