Mandela’s charity accused of receiving money from ‘corrupt arm deal’

November 14th, 2007 - 10:14 am ICT by admin  
South African opposition leader Patricia de Lille, of the Independent Democrats, levelled this accusation in the Parliament. She accused the NMCF of receiving money from deal of a warship purchase from ThyssenKrupp, a German conglomerate.

“I can now confirm that on January 29, 1999, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and the Community Development Foundation each received 500,000 rand (about 38,000 pounds) from ThyssenKrupp,” the Telegraph quoted her, as saying.

“The money was paid into an account in Switzerland at Credit Suisse First Boston bank,” she added.

Mandela’s wife Graca Machel runs the Community Development Foundation,

The opposition leader, however, did not gave the detail of her evidence in the legislature, but she said later that she was not making any accusations against Mandela personally.

“This revelation does not reflect on the character of Nelson Mandela, who I respect and love and I will never insult him,” she said, pointing out she is herself a trustee of the Children’s Fund.

The warship deal was part of a package of purchases that has long been the subject of corruption allegations, and is being investigated in Germany and the UK. A South African government inquiry has decided it was clean.

The Children’s Fund could not be reached for comment last night, but Mosiuoa Lekota, South Africa’s Defence Minister and the chairman of the African National Congress (ANC), reacted furiously to the accusations.

“Is de Lille saying that the ANC was paid money for the defence strategic package? If that is what the honourable member is saying, she must provide evidence,” Lekota questioned.

“Is this honourable member saying that… comrade Nelson Mandela, the former president of this country, was a crook that plotted to steal money through the defence package?,” he added.

Andrew Feinstein, a former ANC MP who resigned in disgust at the arms deal, said: “It doesn’t surprise me at all that she has evidence of the ANC receiving money, I’m as sure as I can be that that’s the case. I have never heard of the other two but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.” (ANI)

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