German company denies arms deal bribes

Klaus Wiercimok, senior house attorney at ThyssenKrupp maritime systems, told the Seriti Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria it was untrue that the price of the frigates was inflated to pay commissions to the middlemen.

He told the commission probing the 1999 arms deal, that a German probe had cleared all those implicated, including South African politicians, of wrongdoing. 

“These allegations have been the subject or object of the state prosecutors’ office in Germany starting in 2006. This obviously was supported by a lot of interest here in this country. I can only say that no evidence supporting the allegations, that any sort of corruptive practices have taken place in SA, was ever found,” he said.

The SABC reported that Wiercimok addressed allegations that former chief of acquisition for the defence department, Chippy Shaik received millions of dollars from the company. 

“I can tell you this is not true. The GFC [German Frigate Consortium] never authorized such payments. This, at the end, was also a subject of the investigation by the state prosecutors’ office in Germany. And we also looked into ourselves. No such payments were also authoriSed.” Two other companies were expected to appear before the commission on Friday, the SABC reported. – Sapa

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