Arms deal bribe: We're on the case, declare Hawks

The Hawks will investigate new allegations of bribery into the multi-billion rand arms deal, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.

The party’s defence and military veterans spokesperson, David Maynier said Lieutenant-General Anwa Dramat, head of the directorate of priority crimes (the Hawks), had sent him a letter confirming their intention to probe the new claims.

The DA wrote to Dramat requesting an investigation after Hakan Buskhe, the chief executive officer of Swedish defence group Saab, issued a statement on Thursday admitting that an internal investigation had revealed that about R24-million had been paid by BAE Systems to Sanip Pty Ltd.

The payments were then transferred from Sanip Pty Ltd to a South African consultant; the transactions were never entered into the accounts of Sanip Pty Ltd; and the payments took place without the knowledge of Saab.

Naming names
The consultant who received the secret payments was reportedly Fana Hlongwane, who was an adviser to former defence minister Joe Modise, and who was alleged to have received commissions relating to the acquisition of 26 Gripen fighter jets from Saab/British Aerospace.

Maynier said that Dramat’s letter to him was dated June 20 2011, and stated that: “I [Dramat] am aware of the recent disclosures made by Saab’s Executive Officer, Mr Hakan Buskhe. This information will be assessed by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.”

Maynier said the DA welcomed the undertaking and now awaited the outcome of the assessment of the new information.—Sapa


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