Thabo Mbeki: Paying commission is normal business practice, not a bribe

2014-07-18 14:13

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A commission is a bribe only when it is paid to a decision-maker, former president Thabo Mbeki told the Seriti Commission of Inquiry.

“When a person who is not a decision-maker is given a commission, it is not a bribe,” he told the sitting in Pretoria today.

“This is normal business practice.”

He was responding to questions by Lawyers for Human Rights advocate Anna-Marie de Vos, who represents author Paul Holden and former African National Congress MP Andrew Feinstein.

Mbeki said if an intermediary was given money to influence a decision-maker but failed, then that money or commission was not a bribe. Only if the person managed to influence the decision-maker was it a bribe.

De Vos said she understood a commission to be a bribe, but Mbeki disagreed.

“The mere fact that a commission was paid is not a bribe. A bribe is if a decision-maker is bought,” Mbeki said.

He said no one in the inter-ministerial committee or the Cabinet had made decisions about the arms deal in a corrupt way.

“We’ve had to live with these allegations for a decade and a half,” Mbeki said.

He reiterated his call for someone to come forward with evidence.

The commission, which is chaired by Judge Willie Seriti, was appointed by President Jacob Zuma three years ago to investigate alleged corruption in the country’s multi-billion rand arms procurement deal in 1999.

Mbeki was president of the country at the time and Zuma was his deputy.

Former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota and former public enterprises minister Alec Erwin attended the commission’s hearing today.

Mbeki’s wife Zanele was also present.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.