Mbeki received kickbacks in German defence deal: reportAugust 4th, 2008 - 1:00 am ICT by IANS
Johannesburg, Aug 3 (DPA) South African President Thabo Mbeki allegedly took a multimillion-dollar bribe from a German shipbuilding giant for a 1999 submarine deal, South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper reported. The Times presented the findings of what it said was a six-month investigation which showed that the company, identified as MAN Ferrostaal, had allegedly paid 30 million rands ($4.1 million) to Mbeki for a guarantee that it would receive the hotly-sought contract.
Mbeki vehemently denied the allegation.
“The presidency would like to place it on record that President Thabo Mbeki has never at any stage received any amount of money from MAN Ferrostaal,” a statement from his office said.
The Times quoted a secret report compiled in 2007 by a British consultant, commissioned by an unnamed Central European manufacturer to investigate MAN Ferrostaal, which had launched a hostile takeover bid against it.
According to the Times, Mbeki gave two million rands of the money to current Vice President Jacob Zuma and the rest to the ruling party, the African National Congress.
The report was published as Zuma faces a fraud and corruption trial in connection with alleged taking of bribes from arms dealers. Court proceedings were expected to take place this month.
The presidency statement called the newspaper report nothing “but a hotch-potch recycling of allegations that have from time been peddled against the government’s strategic defence procurement package.
“This time, the Sunday Times outdoes itself by placing a spurious allegation in the public domain, ie President Thabo Mbeki received a bribe of 30 million rands from MAN Ferrostaal”, it said.
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