CAPE TOWN — The newest submission to the Zondo State Seize Fee is a lulu. Decide Zondo goes to have to pronounce on the alleged gross and wilful neglect of proof by a fellow decide, Willie Seriti. Keep in mind him? Of the arms deal scandal judicial probe – for those who might name it that. Terry Crawford-Browne, the single longest standing crusader towards the nefarious and now completely discredited arms deal, labels the Seriti Fee an outright farce. He’s submitting to Zondo voluminous paperwork he claims have been intentionally ignored by Decide Seriti in what he says constitutes deliberate judicial misconduct. Crawford-Browne is backed by no much less a luminary, than senior advocate and decide, Geoff Budlender. He goes as far as to say Seriti’s conduct and cupboard subsequently ignoring damning proof introduced to them in concise, digestible type, is liable for the present stagnant financial system, excessive unemployment, social unrest and rampant corruption. As for the arms deal “offsets,”, properly they have been merely fraudulent with lower than three % of them met, he provides. A lot for loudly trumpeted job creation. The actual motivation for the arms deal stinks to excessive heaven – it definitely wasn’t in response to actual and current nationwide safety risks. – Chris Bateman
By Terry Crawford-Browne*
Pricey Decide Zondo
I write in response to an attraction by Mr Themba Maseko who, throughout his testimony final week, referred to as on South Africans to come ahead with details about “state capture.” Though I’m not a authorities official, you’ll recognise my identify as the applicant whose case earlier than the Constitutional Courtroom pressured President Jacob Zuma’s reluctant appointment of the Seriti Fee of Inquiry.
President Zuma reportedly informed the ANC’s nationwide government committee (NEC) that he was going to lose the case I had introduced towards him and, subsequently, he would appoint a fee of inquiry to keep away from being dictated to by the Constitutional Courtroom.
I used to be appointed by Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane to characterize the Anglican Church throughout the 1996-1998 defence evaluate carried out in Parliament. However 20 years of heavy-handed cover-ups, the arms deal scandal continues to be recognised as having unleashed the tradition of corruption that afflicts our nation.
The arms deal itself was nevertheless, merely the “tip of the iceberg” involving a variety of scams, together with cash laundering. The widespread denominator of those scams was kick-backs to the ANC in return for political safety.
I discovered in 1998 that BAE was laundering bribes to ANC MPs forward of the 1999 elections by way of two Swedish commerce unions. Via contacts in London, I requested the British authorities to examine and Scotland Yard was instructed to achieve this. Sooner or later, I used to be knowledgeable that it was then not unlawful in English regulation to bribe foreigners and, accordingly, there was “no crime” for Scotland Yard to examine. This was additionally the case in Germany, the place bribes to foreigners have been then tax-deductible as so-called “useful business expenses.”
In his e-book After The Get together, the former ANC MP Andrew Feinstein describes how Finance Minister Trevor Manuel pressured him to drop the SCOPA investigation into the arms deal. Feinstein additionally relates how a senior member of the NEC knowledgeable him that funding from arms deal corporations enabled the ANC to fund the 1999 elections.
As well as, 160 pages of affidavits in my possession from the British Critical Fraud Workplace and the “Scorpions” element how and why BAE laundered bribes of £115 million (R2.1 billion) to safe its arms deal contracts, to whom the bribes have been paid, and which financial institution accounts in South Africa and abroad have been credited.
President Jacob Zuma receives Last Report from Arms Deal Fee, 30 Dec 2015
These affidavits have been submitted to the North Gauteng Excessive Courtroom in November 2008 as a part of an software for authority to raid BAE’s premises in Pretoria and the Western Cape. Because of these raids, 460 packing containers and four.7 million pc pages of proof have been seized. As well as, the Scorpions held proof towards the German Frigate Consortium (GFC) and German Submarine Consortium (GSC).
The idea of my software to the Constitutional Courtroom in 2010 was that, given this big quantity of proof, it was irrational and subsequently unconstitutional for President Zuma to refuse to appoint a fee of inquiry to examine the arms deal. His authorized counsel was unable to rebut the proof, therefore President Zuma’s appointment of the Seriti Fee.
Nonetheless, all this proof was left in two delivery containers in Pretoria, un-investigated by the Seriti Fee. The Fee pleaded it might be too costly (estimated at about R250,000) to index the documentation. As an alternative, the Fee spent R137 million of public cash, and wasted 5 years on an extra cover-up of the arms deal scandal.
Of their makes an attempt to cover-up the scandal, the Mbeki, Motlanthe and Zuma presidencies engaged in destruction of constitutionally enshrined checks-and-balances. Parliament turned a rubber stamp, and numerous different buildings together with the Nationwide Prosecution Authority have been gutted in a forerunner of what we now time period “state capture.” The systematic and deliberate destruction of these constitutional checks-and-balances thus facilitated the “state capture” by the Gupta brothers.
Underneath threats from Decide Seriti of being held in contempt, I revealed in October 2014 that the late Ms Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had led the “Concerned ANC MPs” liable for the memorandum to Patricia de Lille that sparked the arms deal scandal in September 1999. We had beforehand stored secret the identities of the ANC whistleblowers due to the dying threats that adopted launch of the so-called “De Lille dossier.”
Learn additionally: Winnie’s arms deal whistle-blowing – Terry Crawford-Browne
The Auditor Common reported to Parliament in 2000 that he was involved about the undue choice given to BAE, together with that purported offset advantages couldn’t be assured. When Parliamentarians and the Auditor Basic demanded particulars of the offset contracts, they have been blocked by officers of the Division of Commerce and Business with spurious excuses that the contracts have been “commercially confidential.” The resultant Joint Investigation Workforce report in 2001 was instantly dismissed as a whitewash.
The Seriti Fee proved an entire farce, highlighted when Mr Norman Moabi in January 2013 revealed that Decide Seriti was pursuing “a second agenda to silence the Terry Crawford-Brownes of this world.” Decide Francis Legodi, Advocate Tayob Aboobaker and a number of other different senior members of the Fee subsequently resigned, purportedly additionally due to dissatisfaction with Decide Seriti’s conduct.
The arms deal was predicated upon the absurdity that R30 billion spent on armaments would generate R110 billion in offsets and create 65,000 jobs. Part 217 (1) of the Structure requires that authorities procurements have to be carried out in accordance with “a system which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.” Due to its significance, this obligation can also be included into the Public Finance Administration Act (PFMA) and Treasury laws.
Learn additionally: ‘Bigger than Arms Deal’: NPA, AFU search recovering R50bn in state seize probe
Purported offset “benefits” from the acquisitions have been the entire rationale for the arms deal. European arms corporations and their governments exerted large pressures on our authorities to purchase armaments South Africa couldn’t afford and didn’t want. The ruse was developed that arms purchases would generate large offset advantages and stimulate financial improvement. The arms deal was even described as a “Marshall Plan for the ‘new’ South Africa.”
The 1995 Defence White Paper had stipulated that poverty alleviation was South Africa’s safety precedence. When the Fee reopened on 20 January 2014, Advocate Aboobaker quoted from the former Minister of Defence, the late Mr Joe Modise’s finances speech to Parliament on 9 March 1999, and declared:
“On the basis of Mr Modise’s address to Parliament, the expectation raised was that the economy would benefit by R110 billion of new investment and industrial participation programmes and that 65,000 jobs would be created. What was actually delivered by the SDPP in terms of said offsets and jobs has therefore to be tested against this benchmark.”
Advocate Aboobaker resigned shortly thereafter. Predictably, the offsets didn’t materialise. The Debevoise & Plimpton report in reference to the submarine and frigate contracts confirmed that offsets have been merely automobiles to pay bribes and located that the German Submarine Consortium and German Frigate Consortium met solely 2.four% of their offset obligations.
Consequential from launch of that Debevoise & Plimpton report, the Minister of Commerce and Business in 2012 acknowledged in Parliament that his division had grossly inflated the offset figures in stories to Parliament.[i] He thus confirmed the veracity of the report. His division subsequently pleaded that it lacked the capability to audit and implement the arms deal offset obligations. Equally, BAE/Saab met solely 2.eight% of their NIP obligations of $7.2 billion.
Listening to Phumla Wiliams’ testimony it looks like Religion Muthambi was the taxi boss of the Communications division… A regulation unto herself… #StateCaptureInqiuiry
— Justice4All (@Unathi_Kwaza) September three, 2018
At the current trade fee of R14.5 per $1, these BAE/Saab NIP offset obligations can be equal to R104 billion. BAE/Saab have been additionally obligated to ship a further $1.5 billion (R21 billion) in DIP offset obligations. In current values, the German offset obligations have been roughly R107 billion which additionally failed to materialise.
Decide Seriti blocked submission of the Debevoise & Plimpton report as proof. Different findings in the report have been that the roles of Mr Tony Georgiadis (and others) have been to affect President Nelson Mandela and [then] Deputy President Thabo Mbeki to buy German warships. Underneath cross-examination by my authorized counsel Advocate Paul Hoffman, President Mbeki admitted in July 2014 that Georgiadis was a donor to the ANC.
But incredulously, the Seriti Fee in its report launched in April 2016 glowingly made the following findings:
- On the rationale for the package deal, the Fee discovered that it was needed for the SANDF to purchase the gear it procured so as to perform its constitutional mandate and worldwide obligations of peace help and peace-keeping.
- On the query of whether or not the arms and gear acquired are under-utilised or not utilised in any respect, the Fee discovered that each one the arms and gear are well-utilised.
- On whether or not the job alternatives anticipated from the package deal have materialised, the proof tendered earlier than the Fee indicated that the projected variety of jobs to be created by way of the arms procurement course of was achieved.
- The Fee states that the chances are that the variety of jobs created or retained can be greater than eleven thousand 9 hundred and sixteen.
- On whether or not the offsets anticipated to movement from the arms procurement have materialised, the Fee discovered that it was truthful to conclude that the anticipated offsets have considerably materialised. (my emphasis)
- Enough preparations are in place to be sure that those that haven’t met their obligations achieve this in the speedy future. (my emphasis)
- On whether or not any individual or individuals improperly influenced the award or conclusion of any of the contracts in the procurement course of, the Fee discovered that the proof introduced earlier than it doesn’t recommend that undue or improper affect performed any position in the choice of the most popular bidders, which finally entered into contracts with the authorities.
- On whether or not any contract concluded via the procurement course of is tainted by fraud or corruption, the Fee states that the widespread allegations of bribery, corruption and fraud in the arms procurement course of, particularly in relation to the choice of the most popular bidders and prices, have discovered no help or corroboration in the proof, oral or documentary, positioned earlier than the Fee.”[ii]
The one shock was that the cover-up was so blatant. As well as to the admission in Parliament by Minister Rob Davies that the offsets had failed to materialise, the Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula additionally revealed that the majority of the BAE/Saab fighter plane have been in storage just because South Africa lacked the certified pilots to fly them.[iii]
When it comes to the subpoena served upon me to testify earlier than the Fee, I used to be invited to look at documentation. Accordingly, I requested the Worldwide Gives Negotiating Staff (IONT) and Monetary Working Group papers however was repeatedly blocked by Decide Seriti from analyzing them.
The Cape Excessive Courtroom in March 2003 awarded me discovery of these paperwork. Regardless of the Courtroom’s rejection of their argument that it was not in the nationwide curiosity to disclose how the authorities conducts its worldwide monetary preparations, Minister Trevor Manuel and Ms Maria Ramos (then Director Basic of the Treasury) refused to adjust to the discovery order.
After two purposes towards Manuel and Ramos for contempt of courtroom, in November 2003 I ultimately acquired the 57 web page affordability research plus annexures. I emailed my lawyer:
“The Cabinet most certainly did not approve the arms deal on the basis of the documents we’ve got, given the repeated and unambiguous warnings they contain about the risks involved. If they did, they most certainly did ‘not apply their mind.’ Having ignored these warnings and signed the loan agreements, Manuel should be facing criminal charges.”
In June 1998 Manuel and Ramos had collectively signed a Treasury memorandum entitled “Availability of Funding for Procurement of Defence Equipment,” which declared funding for defence procurements shouldn’t exceed R1.four billion by the 2001/2002 monetary yr.
Solely 5 months later in November 1998, Manuel was social gathering to the cupboard announcement that R29.eight billion spent on warships and warplanes would generate R110 billion in offsets and create 64 165 jobs.[iv] Pippa Inexperienced’s biography entitled Selection Not Destiny highlights that Manuel’s duty was the affordability and financing of the arms deal acquisitions. Inexperienced quotes an unnamed senior Treasury official as saying:
“I don’t think Trevor was willing to fight it all the way. He gave up, essentially. It was a big defeat for Treasury, and I personally was very sad the way we got beaten there. Manuel backed off, perhaps because it was clear that Mbeki wanted to go through with it.”
When in July 2014 I tried to cross-examine Manuel on his position in the arms deal together with the mortgage agreements, Decide Seriti blocked virtually all of my meant 86 questions. Thus, of specific curiosity to me are pages 25 and 26 of the Seriti Fee’s report. Right here is the affirmation that Nationwide Treasury blocked my examination of the IONT and monetary working group paperwork with the false and spurious declaration to the Fee that the paperwork have been “privileged.”
AjayGupta is a fugitive from justice. There’s a warrant of arrest for him. It might be improper to permit him to testify from Dubai. If he needs to take part in #StateCaptureInqiuiry, he should achieve this in South Africa. Like all fugitives from the regulation, he faces danger of arrest.
— Nomboniso Gasa (@nombonisogasa) September 5, 2018
I estimate that the paperwork quantity to about 17,000 pages and have been distilled into the 57 web page affordability research submitted to the Cupboard in August 1999. The research enumerated the quite a few dangers of the arms deal, particularly the overseas trade dangers, which it predicted could lead on the authorities into mounting fiscal, financial and monetary difficulties.
The arms deal was costed at R6.25 per $1. The rand has an extended historical past of depreciation, and mismanagement by the SA Reserve Financial institution. The trade fee is presently R14.5 per $1, therefore South Africa’s monetary difficulties together with funding downgrading to “junk” standing.
The research additionally famous that offsets couldn’t be assured. The cupboard overruled these warnings as a result of it naively argued the offset advantages would outweigh these dangers. Offsets are internationally infamous for corruption, and for not materialising. They’re a ploy promoted by arms corporations in collusion of corrupt politicians to fleece the taxpayers of each provider and recipient nations.
My submission to the Seriti Fee in June 2012 targeted upon offsets and thus the complete arms deal failing the constitutional obligations of part 217 (1). That submission was ignored, as have been my subsequent references to the Fee’s obligations to adjust to sections 2 and 237.
Appended with the submission have been a authorized opinion by Advocate Geoff Budlender, and the 20 yr Barclays Financial institution/Export Credit score Assure Division mortgage settlement signed by Trevor Manuel in respect of the BAE Hawk and BAE/Saab Gripen fighter plane.
The mortgage settlement was verified as genuine in 2003 in the Cape Excessive Courtroom by Advocate Michael Kuper, who was representing the Minister of Finance. Kuper additionally emphasised that their default clauses have been “potentially catastrophic for South Africa.” This settlement runs till 2020 and, for my part as a former worldwide banker, is a textbook instance of “third world” debt entrapment by European banks and governments.
And this isn’t a one off both. There’s a litany of felony occasions which have led to ineffective speak outlets:
The Seriti Fee
The Esidemi Hearings
The Farlam Fee
Variety of individuals in jail?
— Sniper Coach (@Jonathan_Witt) June 30, 2018
There was no authority from Parliament for the arms deal acquisitions. Given South Africa’s straightened monetary circumstances, Modise and the cupboard sub-committee led by Mbeki embarked on a marketing campaign of deception relating to offset advantages. As well as, Manuel grossly exceeded his borrowing authorities in phrases each of the erstwhile Exchequer Act and the PFMA.
Accordingly, Kuper requested the Courtroom to impound the mortgage agreements due to their excessive sensitivity. As an alternative, and as defined above, the Courtroom awarded me discovery of the IONT and Monetary Working Group papers. The paperwork are subsequently are usually not “privileged,” no matter the position of Nationwide Treasury in falsely misinforming the Fee.
The individuals of South Africa, I remorse, have been the victims of an enormous fraud perpetrated by overseas arms corporations and governments. You’ll in fact concentrate on Lord Denning’s well-known dictum “fraud unravels everything,” but in addition that there isn’t any prescription on fraud. In his authorized opinion, Budlender additionally cited the precept that the fraudster shouldn’t be allowed to financially profit from his fraud.
Might I submit that launch to me and/or the State Seize Fee of Inquiry of the estimated 17,000 pages of the IONT and Monetary Working Group papers held by Nationwide Treasury will allow our authorities each to cancel the arms deal contracts and to declare very substantial monetary damages from the British, Swedish and German governments?
Not solely have been these governments complicit in the fraud, however additionally they assured the contracts and financing preparations.
I look ahead to your response.
- Terry Crawford-Browne, Nation Co-Ordinator, South Africa, WorldBeyondWar.org
[i] Ivor Powell, 2012, Might 15. “Davies Admits Dodgy Arms Deal Offsets,” The Star. [ii] President Jacob Zuma’s press assertion on the Arms Procurement Fee report, April 21, 2016. [iii] Defenceweb, 2016, June 9. “13 of 26 Gripens Are Active; The Rest Are In Rotational Storage,” Defenceweb [iv] Enterprise Day, 1998, November 19.
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