Zuma trust founder gets R406m in navy contracts

2014-12-14 12:58

A company chaired and co-owned by the Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust’s founder has been awarded navy contracts worth R406 million.

Don Mkhwanazi denied his link with the president had anything to do with the awarding of contracts to a company in which he has a 48% stake, the Sunday Times reported.

“The president does not award tenders,” Mkhwanazi told the Sunday Times in writing.

“Any relationship with the president cannot be linked to contract awards made via a public tender process.”

The newspaper reported that the defence department had outsourced ship maintenance and repair to Southern African Shipyards, the private company Mkhwanazi co-owns.

The company has apparently received six multi-million rand contracts over the past three years.

In August, Southern African Shipyards was also awarded a R1.4 billion contract by Transnet to build tugboats.

Mkhwanazi, who has been a shareholder in Shipyards since 2006, was a Transnet director between 2010 and 2012.

He said the tugboat contract was awarded more than two-and-a-half years after his tenure as a director of Transnet ended.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reported that only one of four frigates bought during the country’s arms deal, and one of three submarines, were operational.

A commission, headed by Judge Willie Seriti, is currently investigating allegations of corruption during the controversial multi-billion rand arms procurement deal, which dates back to 1999.

At the time the government acquired, among other hardware, 26 Gripen fighter aircraft and 24 Hawk lead-in fighter trainer aircraft for the air force, and frigates and submarines for the navy.

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