Hawks look into arms deal

2011-07-31 12:54

Johannesburg - Hawks head Anwar Dramat has written to Parliament's Scopa saying that he will speak to European authorities about whether any South Africans should be criminally charged for the multi-billion rand arms deal, the Sunday Times reported.

A copy of the letter in the newspaper's possession indicates that the Hawks were following up on an admission by Saab last month that about R24m had been paid by BAE Systems to Sanip Pty Ltd.

The letter was sent to Standing Committee on Public Accounts head Themba Godi on Wednesday.

"I have already instructed two officials...to approach the relevant authorities in both Sweden (National Anti--Corruption Unit) and the UK (Serious Fraud Office)," the letter states.

"Subject to approval by these authorities, [we] will assess the available information with a view to determine whether there is information which points to crime/s in South Africa."

The paper reported that the Hawks would establish whether the information could "be converted into relevant evidence by means of formal mutual legal assistance processes."

Justice

Godi confirmed to the Sunday Times that he received the letter.

Allegations of corruption related to the arms deal first surfaced in 1999.

President Jacob Zuma's former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, was sent to jail in 2006 for facilitating a bribe from the French arms company Thomson-CSF. He has since been released on medical parole.

Shaik's brother, Chippy, was working for the defence department as chief of acquisitions for the arms deal.

Opposition parties have called on the Hawks to reopen its investigation.

The Hawks were created after the ruling African National Congress decided to disband the Directorate of Special Operations, known as the Scorpions, which lead the investigation against Shaik, and which also implicated Zuma in questionable deals.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela was not immediately available to comment on the letter.

- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  hawks  |  mcintosh polela  |  chippy shaik  |  schabir shaik  |  anwar dramat  |  jacob zuma  |  arms deal
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