Report on helicopter deal with Iran ready

2012-08-08 00:00

PUBLIC Protector Thuli Madonsela released a provisional report yesterday on her investigation into the business dealings of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s partner, Gugu Mtshali.

However, details are not being made public at this stage.

Madonsela’s spokesperson, Kgalalelo Masibi, said the report remained confidential.

“The provisional report copies are being sent to both the deputy president and Ms Mtshali to give them an opportunity to view the document and respond.”

Masibi said the Public Protector would decide how to proceed with the matter based on the responses she received.

Motlanthe had asked Madonsela to conduct the probe after the Sunday Times reported that a company linked to Mtshali was involved in a sanction-busting helicopter deal with Iran.

According to the newspaper, Mtshali and her business associates were allegedly linked to a deal for which government support was solicited to allow a company to break United Nations sanctions and sell helicopters to Iran.

The newspaper reported that the director of the company, 360 Aviation, was promised “government support” in exchange for R104 million during a secret meeting at a Johannesburg restaurant that was attended by Mtshali and her associates.

Two months later officials of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued letters of support to 360 Aviation for the R2 billion helicopter deal.

The DTI initiated its own investigation into the conduct of the officials and found that they had “placed SA at risk” by engaging in sanction-busting deals with Iran and that they should face disciplinary action for gross negligence. The DTI report was sent to the Public Protector.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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