Court papers allege 'payments to Hlongwane'

Court papers have apparently emerged which reignite claims against Fana Hlongwane for possibly receiving incentives linked to the arms-deal scandal, the Sunday Times reported.

On Friday, the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) said in a statement received by the South African Press Association that it had abandoned a preservation order against assets seized from Hlongwane, who was under investigation for possibly receiving incentives from international arms company BAE Systems.

In the statement, the NDPP’s Menzi Simelane said there was insufficient evidence to support the retention of the preservation order.

“Whilst there was and still is room to argue for the retention of the preservation order, the evidence available does not support this approach,” said Simelane.

On Sunday, the newspaper reported that it had documents in its possession that “show he [Hlongwane] was indirectly paid more that R200-million by British defence company BAE”.

In Friday’s statement, the NDPP said it had authorised the application for the preservation order earlier this month, after considering and receiving reports from Willie Hofmeyr, the deputy national director of the NDPP assigned for asset forfeiture processes.

‘Claims against Hlongwane’
However, the NDPP then said the matter could not progress because the investigation had yielded no evidence of criminal conduct, and it could not continue simply on a suspicion.

The newspaper however said it had examined hundreds of pages of court documentation “kept under lock and key in the office of the court registrar” which contained a variety of claims against Hlongwane.

‘Corruption, fraud, money laundering’
The newspaper reported on an affidavit it had seen—written apparently by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Billy Downer—which allegedly detailed payments of millions of pounds Hlongwane received from a company, Arstow, apparently linked to BAE.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that [Hlongwane] has committed the offences of corruption, fraud, money laundering and/or racketeering in the context of the arms deal,” the newspaper quoted an extract of Downer’s affidavit as saying.

It also reported that Downer said in his affidavit that
Hlongwane had “derived financial reward” from the arms deal.

Hlongwane’s lawyer Christo Stockenstrom was quoted as telling the Sunday Times: “I’m not going to comment on anything”. - Sapa


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