Europäische (deutsche, französische, englische) Rüstungskonzerne wegen Korruption in Südafrika am Pranger und die afrikanischen Politiker, die Bestechungen angenommen haben sollen! Eine Kommission soll es aufklären, doch ohne öffentlichen Druck wird es wohl nicht gehen! Zumas Finanzberater Shaik hatte den damaligen Vizepräsidenten Zuma lange finanziert, laut Vorwürfen der Opposition im Auftrag einer französischen Waffenfirma, die auf diese Weise Ermittlungen verhindern wollte.

Europäische Waffenhandels-Korruption in SüdafrikaWaffenhandel holt Zuma ein

Langjährige Ermittlungen zu Korruptionsskandalen im Zusammenhang mit dem Erwerb von Rüstungsgütern waren im Jahr 2010 auf politischen Druck hin eingestellt worden. Präsident Jacob Zuma, gegen den knapp 8 Jahre lang selbst ermittelt wurde, setzte die Kommission jedoch Ende des Jahres 2011 ein.

Langjährige Ermittlungen zu Korruptionsskandalen im Zusammenhang mit dem Erwerb von Rüstungsgütern waren im Jahr 2010 auf politischen Druck hin eingestellt worden. Präsident Jacob Zuma, gegen den knapp 8 Jahre lang selbst ermittelt wurde, setzte die Kommission jedoch Ende des Jahres 2011 ein. (Bild: MIKE HUTCHINGS / Reuters)

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Christian Putsch, Kapstadt

In Pretoria beginnt am Dienstag eine Untersuchungskommission mit Anhörungen zu dubiosen südafrikanischen Waffengeschäften mit europäischen Rüstungskonzernen während der neunziger Jahre. Vertreter der Firmen hatten eingestanden, für Zuschläge für Ausschreibungen Gelder an hochrangige Politiker gezahlt zu haben. Im Jahr 1996 hatte die damalige Regierung von Nelson Mandela beschlossen, Luftwaffe und Marine trotz sinkender internationaler Bedrohung im grossen Stil mit neuen Waffen auszustatten. Das Gesamtvolumen des Rüstungsprojekts betrug umgerechnet rund 4,4 Milliarden Franken.

Zweifel an Glaubwürdigkeit

Langjährige Ermittlungen zu Korruptionsskandalen im Zusammenhang mit dem Erwerb von Rüstungsgütern waren im Jahr 2010 auf politischen Druck hin eingestellt worden. Präsident Jacob Zuma, gegen den knapp 8 Jahre lang selbst ermittelt wurde, setzte die Kommission jedoch Ende des Jahres 2011 ein, um einer unmittelbar bevorstehenden Anordnung durch das Verfassungsgericht zuvorzukommen.

Zuma war so selbst in der Lage, die Besetzung der Kommission festzulegen. Doch schon jetzt gibt es Zweifel an deren Glaubwürdigkeit. Einer der Richter, Francis Legodi, begründete seinen Rücktritt wenige Wochen vor Beginn der Anhörungen mit politischer Einflussnahme. Verzögerungen gab es auch, weil das Verteidigungsministerium die Bereitstellung angeforderter Dokumente verweigerte.

Dabei ist die Kommission auf dem Papier mit weitreichenden Befugnissen ausgestattet. Dazu zählen auch die Untersuchung der Entscheidungsfindung sowie die Bewertung des gegenwärtigen Zustands der Waffen. Der Kommissionsvorsitzende darf Zeugen unter Strafandrohung vorladen. Auf der Zeugenliste befindet sich unter anderem der ehemalige Präsident Thabo Mbeki.

Beschränkte Befugnisse

Zuma hat bisher allerdings nur eine erste Phase genehmigt, in der ausschliesslich Hinweise von Ministerien berücksichtigt werden sollen, die an dem Geschäft von seiner Anfangsphase bis zu seinem Abschluss beteiligt waren.

Zumas Finanzberater Shaik wurde im Jahr 2005 wegen seiner Verwicklung in den Waffenhandel zu einer langjährigen Gefängnisstrafe verurteilt. Shaik hatte den damaligen Vizepräsidenten Zuma lange finanziert, laut Vorwürfen der Opposition im Auftrag einer französischen Waffenfirma, die auf diese Weise Ermittlungen verhindern wollte. Zuma musste von seinem damaligen Amt zurücktreten, sein Aufstieg an die Spitze des regierenden African National Congress (ANC) und zum Präsidenten Südafrikas verzögerte sich jedoch bloss.

http://www.nzz.ch/aktuell/international/auslandnachrichten/waffenhandel-holt-zuma-ein-1.18135520

Wirklich gefährlich könnte die Kommission Zuma auch diesmal wohl nur dann werden, wenn dieser eine zweite Phase genehmigt, in der die damaligen Kritiker des Waffenhandels vernommen werden sollen. Dazu zählen die heutige Bürgermeisterin von Kapstadt, Patricia de Lille, aber auch der ehemalige ANC-Abgeordnete Andrew Feinstein und der Aktivist Terry Crawford-Browne. Dieser hatte die Bildung der Kommission mit seiner Klage vor dem Verfassungsgericht erst erzwungen.

http://www.nzz.ch/aktuell/international/auslandnachrichten/waffenhandel-holt-zuma-ein-1.18135520

Anti-arms deal campaigner Terry Crawford-Browne. (Gallo)

The Chairperson Sandown Crescent E105, Royal Ascot,
Arms Procurement Commission Milnerton, Cape Town
Pretoria August 19, 2013
For attention: LW Seriti JA
Dear Seriti JA
Re: Arms Procurement Commission/Terry Crawford-Browne
1. I herewith lodge my objection to the closure of today’s afternoon session. The Minister of
Justice assured the people of South Africa in October 2011 that the Commission would be an
open and transparent process. More pertinently, the closure is in contempt of the
Constitutional Court which in November 2011 gave its consent to the Commission’s process
and terms of reference, whereupon I agreed to withdraw my case CCT103/10.
2. The chief of the “Hawks,” General Anwar Dramat confirmed in Parliament in September
2010 that the “Hawks” had inherited in 2009 from the Scorpions 460 boxes and 4.7 million
computer pages of evidence in respect of the BAE contracts, plus also the files relating to the
German Frigate and Submarine Consortia. Dramat told the Standing Committee on Public
Accounts (Scopa) that there was so much evidence that it would take up to ten years to
analyse it.
3. Dramat announced two weeks later that the “Hawks” had abandoned the arms deal
investigation, whereupon I lodged my application CCT103/10 to the Constitutional Court
that, given this huge volume of evidence, it was irrational and therefore unconstitutional for
President Jacob Zuma to refuse to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into the arms deal.
4. The President’s legal counsel was unable to refute these arguments plus other evidence that
I submitted to the Constitutional Court. Consequently, President Zuma announced in
September 2011 that he would appoint a Commission of Inquiry into the arms deal, and thus
finally acceded to demands which Archbishop-Emeritus Ndungane, Patricia de Lille,
Archbishop-Emeritus Tutu, former President FW de Klerk, Dr Mamphela Ramphele, the late
Helen Suzman and I, plus many other South Africans, have been making since August 1999.
5. One of the first actions of my legal representatives was to write to the Commission to
request that the documentation referred to in paragraph 2 should be secured. Being the
documentation of the arms deal contractors and not of the Department of Defence, it is not
classified material.
6. In recent days it has been reported that this documentation is, in fact, stored in two
containers in the “Hawks” parking lot. It is also reported, notwithstanding the experiences
at the Constitutional Court in 2011, that the Commission does not deem this evidence to be
significant to its investigation.2
7. I am concerned that objections by the Department of Defence to the Commission’s use of
reportedly classified documentation is a merely a ploy to further prolong and obfuscate the
Commission’s work. Indeed, there was no need to use classified documentation given the
huge volume of unclassified documentation already held by the “Hawks,” and inherited from
the “Scorpions.”
8. I made my written submission to the Commission in June 2012 now well over a year ago,
and supported by a legal opinion by Advocate Geoff Budlender SC, that the arms deal
acquisitions were unconstitutional and illegal in terms of section 217 (1) of the
Constitutional, and also fraudulent.
9. I made a supplementary submission in December 2012 reminding the Commission that
section 237 requires that “all constitutional obligations must be performed diligently and
without delay.”
10. The Commission has still, after fourteen months, been unable to rebut my contentions that
the arms deal was unconstitutional and illegal right from inception.
11. Nor has the Commission contested Budlender’s findings that the internationally accepted
remedy for fraud is cancellation of the contracts, return of the equipment and recovery of
the monies.
12. In addition, the “remedies in case of bribes” clauses in the arms deal supply contracts gives
the South African government the right summarily to cancel the contracts and to claim
compensation.
13. It is public knowledge that ThyssenKrupp, on behalf of the German Frigate Consortium, paid
a plea bargain fine in Germany of Euros 46 million after German tax authorities rejected
claims that bribes paid to secure the frigate contracts were “useful business expenditures”
and thus tax deductible.
14. It is public knowledge that the new management of MAN Ferrostaal acknowledges that
offsets were simply vehicles to pay bribes, and that the company’s old management had no
intention of complying with offset commitments.
15. It is public knowledge that the Department of Trade and Industry informed Parliament that
the offset commitments did not materialise.
16. It is public knowledge that the new management of SAAB acknowledges that BAE misused
its accounting system to launder bribes to secure the BAE/Saab Gripen fighter aircraft
contracts, and that some of these bribes were paid to Fana Hlongwane.
17. It is public knowledge that the former National Director of Public Prosecutions in March
2010 refused to seize an estimated R200 million’s worth of bribes paid by BAE to
Hlongwane, which authorities in Liechtenstein had frozen pending seizure by South Africa.
He gave the spurious excuse of insufficient evidence, whereupon Judge Willem van der 3
Merwe placed about 500 pages of documentation into the public register in the North
Gauteng High Court.
18. It is public knowledge that authorities in the United States in 2010 and 2011 fined BAE a
total of US$479 million for “accounting irregularities” for numerous cases in several
countries, including South Africa.
19. The South African Air Force as early as July 1997 rejected the BAE proposals as both too
expensive and unsuited to South African requirements. The former Secretary for Defence
resigned in 1998 rather than be held accountable for such blatant tendering irregularities as
the late Minister of Defence’s “visionary approach” to exclude price from consideration.
20. Amongst the documentation that I submitted to the Constitutional Court is 160 pages of
affidavits by the “Scorpions” and the British Serious Fraud Office which detail how and why
BAE laundered bribes of £ 115 million to secure its BAE Hawk and BAE/Saab Gripen fighter
aircraft contracts, to whom those bribes were paid, and which bank accounts were credited.
21. Instead of confining itself to the six terms of reference established by the President and the
Minister of Justice, the Commission is reported by two former staff members to have
pursued a “second agenda” to “silence the Terry Crawford-Brownes of this world.” In
addition, Judge Francis Legodi has also resigned.
22. Given the evident inability of the Commission to deal with its terms of reference within the
time allocated to it, I suggest that you immediately and without delay write to President
Zuma recommending to him:
a) That the arms deal contracts were unconstitutional and illegal right from inception
because the offsets failed the requirements of section 217 (1),
b) That it is public knowledge confirmed by the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs
that the frigates and submarines are inoperable, and that almost half of the BAE/Saab
Gripens have been placed in long-term storage because South Africa lacks the pilots to
fly them, the mechanics to maintain them, and even the money to fuel them,
c) That in terms of 1.6 of the terms of reference, South Africa has the right to cancel the
contracts and to recover the monies,
d) That the foreign loans incurred to finance the arms deal contracts were underwritten by
the German government’s Hermes Export Credit Agency and by the British government’s
Export Credit Guarantee Department. Thus repudiation by South Africa of these
contracts and their loans because of bribery and fraud would mean that the financial
consequences would fall to British and German taxpayers, and not to South Africans,
e) That in recovering the monies, the South African taxpayers would also recover the bribes
since, obviously, these were built into the prices of the arms deal acquisitions,
f) That the arms deal contracting companies should be blacklisted both in South Africa and
internationally in terms of the OECD Conventions Against Bribery Of Foreign Officials,4
g) That you withdraw the Commission’s request for extension of its mandate and for
additional public funding,
h) That you advise the President to appoint retired judges to ascertain from former
President Thabo Mbeki, former Minister Alec Erwin and Minister Trevor Manuel what
pressures and threats were exerted upon them by European governments and arms
companies, and also why they abused their powers of public office to block meaningful
investigation of the corruption that followed.
23. It is estimated the arms deal debacle has cost about R70 billion. I respectfully suggest that
these funds could be far more beneficially applied towards social upliftment in keeping with
the commitments of the Constitution, including section 198 regarding the principles which
govern national security.
Yours faithfully
Terry Crawford-Browne

http://cdn.mg.co.za/content/documents/2013/08/19/seriticlosedsessionletter.pdf

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