Mbeki, Manuel 'doctored arms deal report'

2009-10-22 08:32

Cape Town – The spotlight is once again on the arms deal scandal after possibly damning evidence – which could sink the careers of highly-placed politicians – was presented to members of Parliament.

Members of the Standing Committee On Public Accounts (Scopa) received a bulky presentation, which implies that former president Thabo Mbeki as well as Trevor Manuel and Mosiuoa Lekota covered up damning findings about the arms deal.

The presentation of more than 600 pages was handed in earlier this year by Cape Town businessman Richard Young, whose company, CCII Systems, lost the tender for the navy's new corvettes. According to him, these documents were not available in 2000 when the joint investigative team looked at the arms deal.

This team, consisting of the auditor general, the public defender and the national director of public prosecution, found in a November 2001 report handed in to Parliament that there were no grounds to believe that government had acted "illegally or improperly".

Report doctored

But the documents provided by Young, apparently showed their initial report had been doctored considerably.

According to a provisional analysis by the DA, the report is full of amendments, comments and changes. Hand-written notes (by an unknown author) can be seen throughout, while the names of Mbeki, Manuel and Lekota are also written in the margins.

Of the biggest adjustments are:

- The finding that there had been "considerable gaps" in the appointment of BAE and SAAB as preferred contractors for the acquisition of fighter planes was completely left out. Instead, a paragraph was inserted to say that there was no proof of government "irregularities, fraud or corruption".

- A section was completely cut out pertaining to the ways in which Joe Modise, the deceased former minister of defence, had influenced the BAE/SAAB tender. Even the title of the section was changed to: "The visionary approach of the minister of defence".

- The auditor general's complete finding about the process around the BAE/SAAB tender was turned around. Instead of a finding about ministerial intervention and prejudice, it claimed the process was above reproach and that there were "no grounds" for suspicion.

Goverment pressure

It would also appear as if the compilers of the final version were under pressure from government.

A hand-written note implied Mbeki, Manuel (the former minister of finance and now minister of planning) and Lekota (former minister of defence and now president of Cope) had given feedback to the author about certain issues in the report before the compilation of the final version.

According to the DA, it looked as if Manuel had given instructions that the report should make it clear that government had worked with the joint investigative team.

Mbeki for his part clearly requested that the "integrity of the investigative bodies" should be protected. All of this apparently happened at a meeting in October 2001.

Mark Steele, a DA MP and member of Scopa, said in reaction: "If these revelations are true, it is shocking. We have to get to the bottom of this."

New evidence

Themba Godi, MP of the African People's Convention and Scopa's chairperson, said on Wednesday night that committee members would decide within the next three weeks if the involved parties should appear before the committee.

According to Godi, a new commission of inquiry into the R30bn arms deal could only follow if Young's presentation presented "new and meaningful evidence" that corruption had indeed taken place.

"And with 'new evidence' I mean that it (the alleged amendments to the final report) shouldn't merely be changes to the style of writing or grammar."

  • LSA - 2009-10-22 08:41

    Whoever was involved, current and former ministers and MP's, they must all be punished!!!!!!

  • Dave - 2009-10-22 08:44

    Finally it comes out. HTe rumours have been around for years that this involved Mbekhi.Lets see if this government keeps its word on curruption and crime or if they will just brush it under the carpet. I think the latteer if the Shaik sagas are anything to go by.

  • KK - 2009-10-22 08:50

    DA is a lousy party stalking the ANC instead of building their own short-sighted gang.Keeep on wasting your time.. By 2014 the DA will be tird of chasing the dominant party for the rest of their lives.

  • tony cape town - 2009-10-22 08:51

    wow ! so much for angel trevor !! without a doubt with the Pommies having major evidence of serious back handers on defence purchases for SA and the "smoke" that just will not leave us - there must be a serious fire some where !!!!! The top dogs have taken their cut for their suffering in the struggle years - thats how it works !!!

  • Johann - 2009-10-22 08:57

    Very easy to sort out this type of corruption. Lock up the total ANC clan and melt the keys to make a corruption medalion and hang it around their fat Necks.

  • edgerr - 2009-10-22 09:03

    Hang them, hang them high !!!

  • Louis - 2009-10-22 09:03

    A report with hand written notes by an unkown author. I think the DA should know when they're being toyed with. Mbeki, Manual and Lekota are the usual suspects everytime the COSATU-led alliance wants to blame someone. As far a shifting blame goes, they're like Apartheid nouveau. Talk about political interference. There is one constant, though: From Selebi, the Arms Deal, Jacob Zuma's court farce, Chancellor House and their links to Russian Viktor Vekselberg, Schabir Shaik, etc. then South Africa seems to have a political elite that can rub shoulders with the worst in the world. How much longer can we give these people the benefit of the doubt? They as much as admitted that local government is a failure.

  • Gary - 2009-10-22 09:08

    How man more 'snakes'(this is too big for worms) are going to come out of the woodwork??Once again fraud and corruption leaks out of the ANC and it's 'under the table' handling of matters - I'm just so sick and tired now as this is just never ever going to end. Fat Cat salaries, lavish parties, dodgy deals and we the poor tax payers simply sit back and fork ou our hard earned salaries to the tax man - it's high time these politicians get taken to task and either get fired, pay back or fo to JAIL!!!!No more slap on the wrists - In the states and the UK you get fired or face criminal charges.....In SA you get a golden hanshake and a huge bonus - I give up :(((

  • Johan - 2009-10-22 09:09

    So what? Nothing will come of this anyway.

  • Go Corruption....Again - 2009-10-22 09:10

    I think the only reason political leaders and members in high positions aren't being found guilty is that everyone has their fingers in the pie and if everything comes out then we won't have a single minister in the cabinet, including the president. It is discraceful that we live in a country where we can't trust anyone that has been elected to protect and serve the nation!!

  • Cedric - 2009-10-22 09:14

    This is disgusting and downright criminal if found to to true. But, like everything else, one suspects it will, with the usual clever spin, denial, counter accusations, ineffective opposition and deflecting tactics, simply go away. At worst a few golden handshakes for the some.

  • mamaile - 2009-10-22 09:15

    lets it be investigated further. smelling a big rat here. perpetrators be brought to book.

  • They knew this long ago - 2009-10-22 09:16

    Cleva Trevor! It is now that the ANCYL does not like you that much that you should start to be careful of all your past wrongs. They want you out. Google Terry Crawford-browne.

  • KOBUS - 2009-10-22 09:19

    While this is certainly something that is important, it's not necessarily proof of anything. I mean, handwritten notes including the name of Jurie Els could have been added to a copy of the report by anyone at any time. It needs proper investigation. The three names mentioned just "happens to be" the three biggest enemies of Cosatu at this stage? Sounds a bit fishy...

  • all about - 2009-10-22 09:23

    knives out for Manual

  • Andrew - 2009-10-22 09:23

    This arms deal is raising its ugly head the second time in recent times, between this, the investigation into the corrupt supplier, lets look forward to some justice finally being served on these incompetants!

  • Mike - 2009-10-22 09:23

    Jacob Zuma said a couple of years ago that he was not the only one, he was only responsible for gathering the tenders not for the purchase, which was approved by Manuel and Mbeki and others. It seems that the saying "no honor amongst thieves" does ring true indeed.

  • James - 2009-10-22 09:24

    Being corrupt/ineffective is a prerequisite to joining the modern (or should I say latest) ANC.

  • michael@Johan - 2009-10-22 09:26

    Johan, you are 100% correct. Nothing will happen. PLEASE WILL EVERYONE LOOK AT AND JOIN: Our world is in real trouble because of the greed of unqualified politicians. If you think about it, how are they qualified to make decisions for the better of the people. This is what the Zeitgeist movement is all about... there are 2 dvds available that the whole world should watch. Please look at it.

  • Larry - 2009-10-22 09:28

    Although nothing will be done about this, it gives the world a further insight into what we are, a totally corrupt state.

  • Lady Tebs - 2009-10-22 09:33

    I agree with Johan. There is always new evidence and info on Corruption but no one ever seems to pushes hard enough to see justice finally being served to those who are guilty. Frankly i'm tired of all this. It's either these people are caught and pay their debt to society or they just let them be. How many times have we seen these corruption cases dissolve into thin air after a fiery start?

  • Karin - 2009-10-22 09:34

    Every time I pay my provisional taxes my heart skips a beat and I wonder what corrupt project will this fund. We are living in a sick society where there is no consequence to criminal behavior. This is not only a plotical problem but a complete lack of moral fibre which clearly operates in a rampant manner in SA. How sad that we have such a beautiful country but we are among the most deceiptful of nations in the world.

  • DA will never lead, never! - 2009-10-22 09:36

    When the people were saying the charges agianst JZ are unfair, you the DA was quite wanted JZ in court. The whole executive of the time including the angel Lekota should be brought to book. JZ should just appoint a commission of inquiry and suprise everyone - big time the DA which wants anything progressive if its coming from a black person!

  • Sugan - 2009-10-22 09:36

    What’s new? More corrupt ANC members. When will it ever end?

  • jorene - 2009-10-22 09:37

    What the Government needs is a good clean out. If they had come clean years ago on the Arms deal, then there would not have been all these lies and mudslinging. Wow, the ANC's name is getting worse by the day.

  • Thampho - 2009-10-22 09:39

    Can somebody tell me how JZ is involved in these when everybody knows that Thabo Mbeki,Trevor Manual,Joe Modise and Terror Lekota hated JZ?

  • andrew - 2009-10-22 09:39

    they have to cut there losses, and fire him

  • Sedick - 2009-10-22 09:40

    why r u guys surprised. As I said in another blog, if theses guys had not been sent to jail for anti-Apardheid activities, they would have been in jail for criminal activities. They should shame themselves, and seek forgiveness from those individuals whom had who died fighting Apardheid. I suspected all along that Manual was somehow involved (in the cover up at least)as he was the minister of Finance

  • the man - 2009-10-22 09:40

    this arms deal is old business now and it is time to let by gons be by gons. even though i think manual is useless and mbeki even more useless the arms deal should not be further investigated. it is time we all forget about it and move on otherwise this is just going to give you nosey people hypertension.

  • The cheeze moved... - 2009-10-22 09:44

    Expect to see the name Chippy come up and now we will see the last remaining Shaik brothers involvement in the tangeled web that is the ANC.

  • halu - 2009-10-22 09:48

    @ Johan. Fully agree with u. even if there is to be a commission of enquiry - nothing will come out of it. its just a waiste of time and taxpayers money. Selebi trial as well need to stop. he won't be arested anyway regardless of the outcome.
    Look on Judge akunamathata case - 3years down the line and still no reasonable conviction. where is the logic on having the case dragging for 3 years and spend millions of state money and then fine mathata a cent.
    This is all a joke . Some oukes are just above the law.

  • Lucky - 2009-10-22 09:49

    Go and wake Modise from his grave!!!!

  • Lee - 2009-10-22 09:50

    hayi maan, corruption has been around for decades. things were not as medialised as they are right now because journalists did not have the freedom of speech hence you people think the old apartheid government was led by angels who believed in great service elivery and transpaency. White collar crime has been the order of the day in south africa. As much as the current government is for self enriching, atleast they are not sending out troops to the townships to kill people, rape their domestics and oppress innocent souls. IT IS ABOUT TIME poor people have a piece of this pie. If u guys really really think ANC is so bad then why not leave SA!!!?

  • jeanius - 2009-10-22 09:54

    The whole truth must come out and roleplayers must face consequences. There are no holy cows!!

  • @KK - 2009-10-22 09:55

    So you're too stupid to seperate the chaff from the kernels. To spell it out for you: That money in this unneccessary arms deal could have been appropriated to alleviate poverty in this country, improve service delivery and build houses for the poor. Somehow, I experience more and more that the non-ANC affiliations is more aware of ACTUAL service delivery - and actively pursuing it - instead of the ANC's lip service of service delivery, but continuously participating in the latest national recreational activities - theft, corruption, self-enrichment and dishonesty.

    Funny that the only predominantly functioning administrations are situated in the Western Cape, where most municipalities are under DA coaltion rule, and at least the provincial administration is controlled by the DA... what a shining example to the other areas... vote DA and get the promises delivered.

  • BurntOnce - 2009-10-22 09:58

    Interresting how the current government puts key men in the intelligence service and then new evidence emerges..?

  • Frank II - 2009-10-22 09:59

    We should have built power stations with that money, instead of buying arms but I am sure those ANC cadres involved with these deals made millions of Rands in kickbacks. But as they have said in the past - 'they didn't join the struggle to be poor'.

  • alan - 2009-10-22 10:02

    And the ANC Government, so evil and corrupt, has the audacity to increase tax penalties and loot bank accounts while they bling up their ZANU-PF type lifestyles. Typical Politicians - Just another class of criminals? The sooner the ANC dominance is destroyed the better for all.

  • Wiseman - 2009-10-22 10:04

    It is interesting that there are no names from the Zuma camp listed. I find it strange that only now comes into the open.

  • L_M - 2009-10-22 10:08

    AMAZING ATTITUDES! The ANC 'can do no' wrong. Blatent corruption of money that should of been used to better this country was wasted and it's a case of 'forgive and forget' or leave the country. Then people take to the streets and burn infracstructure down, cry about 40% Electricity increases and lack of service delivery. What if instead buying useless arms, they had built power stations 15 years ago? The ANC has no shame, their staunch supporters have no shame.

  • Komane Phillip - 2009-10-22 10:08

    I think the issue here is about the Tenderer, but for me there is no substance into this Arms Deal, Mbeki, Manuel and Ministers of Defence should make their inputs as they were the accounting officers. How on earth can a ruling party benefit out of this whole thing? My comment is to close the case once and for all. This evidence should be questioned as it took so long to be presented to scopa. This issue is so critical that even Zuma can appear again to answer unanswered questions on his relationship with Shabbir Shaik, it will open a full can of worms propably within the ruling party. Let's focus on developing this country and come up with ways to counter similar things.

  • garyh - 2009-10-22 10:09

    Lee, you tool, you and your ilk are the problem, how the hell can you condone the ANC's constant corruption and lies, and then defend it with apartheid, do you have any idea how stupid you sound. Then you tell us to leave if we do not like it, hehe! We will rather wait for the ANC to implode, and then rebuild SA from scratch, we are just hoping that there is something left to rebuild. Who are these poor people that deserve a piece of the pie, Mbeki, Manual, Selebi, Zuma, JuJu? Please apply your brain and realise that these 'poor' people are in fact stealing from the real 'poor' people, are can you not make this connection, frightening stuff!

  • Sbu - 2009-10-22 10:11

    Thank you President Zuma for the freedom of the press. At least these wrong doings by some members of the ANC is not being covered up. Keep it up as soon we will have a goverment which is competent and free of thieves

  • Kay - 2009-10-22 10:11

    I just wish that everything that happened 5 years ago could just go, how many times are we going to hear about things that happened years ago, if they can bloody take the money that they will be using for court and improve service delivery, i mean how many times and how much more can we spend on cases that are not going to go anywhere? this is too much, we need delivery more than we need to hear who got how much out of which deal, as long as we know that going forward there wont be any corruption is good enough, i am really sick and tired of this court cases that has got no end at the end of the day.

  • Dr Filemon - 2009-10-22 10:17

    The SACP (the real 3rd force) is behind this. Mbeki is already discredited. SACP want Manuel out. Lekota is COPE so kill 3 birds with one stone. And protect their plastercine chameleon puppet Zuma at the same time

  • linda - 2009-10-22 10:17

    The truth will never emerge as long as the culprits are the ones investigating it - or authorising the investigation. It is time that an independant body like the UN is brought in to investigate and put this to be once and for all. The opposition parties are never going to rest (rightly so) till the truth is disclosed. SA taxpayers have a right to know if their hard earned taxes have been stolen or misspent. Investigating possible criminal activity is a fundamental right of a democracy - and nowhere does the constitution state that the ANC are exempt from investigation and prosecution if found guilty. If you dont pay rates and taxes, and therefore it wasnt your money that was potentially stolen or misused - then I dont think you really have any right to judge the people who have paid and want the arms deal investigated.

  • Boikanyo Nwatle - 2009-10-22 10:18

    We should move away from the armsdeal issue is old news,.We should focus on weather the President will grand his old friend and Financial adviser Shaik Presidential Pardon.This is a pay back time for Zuma to the Shaiks.

  • Lucky Luke - 2009-10-22 10:19

    Why it took so long for this document to surface? How did Mr Young get hold of this document? Could this be not a way by the current government to discredit Minister Manuel so that he can resign from government? Knowing how documents can be manipulated or one can easily scribble Manuel's or Mbeki's name.

  • Nathi - 2009-10-22 10:20

    White goverment was corrupt and there was no transparacy to the south africans. The ANC goverment is transparent, and all the misconducts happening now are transpired to the puplic and that will shape the govement officials for the better and best goverment. White govement had their good times and uneducated were earning and living in upmarket areas. People against ANC should forget, because the ANC govement is transparent to everyone and will make a change to everyone's behavior.

  • Jealous - 2009-10-22 10:21

    You are all full of envy. This is standard behaviour for politicians.